October 31, 2008


Happy Halloween everybody!
So much going on around here today. R is having a time of getting her costume finished. We are used to it taking every second up to when she is walking out the door, so it's not a big surprise. L and I have been at her beckon call trying to help wherever we can. She is doing a great job and I hope she will let me share pictures when she is finished.
We've got our spider web in place with our two spiders. We had to move our McCain sign up to the house. It has been abused by the neighborhood children on regular days, so we figured we'd play it safe and move it closer to the house for Halloween. Plus it made a neat spot for a spider!

I wish this picture would show what we can see from this spot on our front deck. Today is Lady Bug Day! They seem to chose a sunny, slightly warmer day in October to try their annual migration into our house for the winter. We can see them swarming toward the house, but the picture didn't capture that.

Here's one before it made it into the house.

I hope the spider doesn't scare them away!

Here's Ls mask I made for him from the 'Son of Stitch 'n Bitch'. The pattern is Lucha Libre. I made so many mistakes, but we won't talk about those! Yes, that is Cindy Styrofoam Head modeling for us. Wednesday night I finished a pair of Christmas socks for my FIL. I was basking in the joy of a finished project when R talks L into talking me into making him this mask. WEDNESDAY NIGHT! He wanted it for FRIDAY NIGHT! Why do they do this to me? Why do I let them do this to me. So, I set to work that night and all day yesterday. Here's the finished product. My count was off a couple of times, but you know what, I didn't care! I was under a deadline! (Halloween socks modeled by the fabulous Miss R - store bought socks too - isn't that embarrassing?)

Here's a ladybug getting in on the action.
Who is this mild mannered person?
Well, it's Lucha Libre!
Ready for battle!
I bet the glasses in the first picture really thew you off, didn't they?

October 27, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Today RL and I have been married for 24 years. It is so hard to believe that we have been together that long! He agreed to renew my contract for at least another 24 years, so I think we're set.
Like my rose? What a shock to walk out into the garden and find the rose in bloom. There were actually three roses on the bush, but this was the only one that still looked good. I can't believe we are having temperatures in the 30s at night and it's still looking so pretty.

Knitting is still going on at a feverish pace. We're getting to the point in the year that I can't share every finished project. Most of what I'll be making will be for Christmas, so I'll just have to have a giant post afterward. Hopefully it'll be worth the wait!

October 25, 2008

What a Surprise for Me!

Happy Halloween to me! After fighting it for ages, I finally joined Ravelry this past year. I really hadn't found anybody I 'clicked' with, but I hung in there. Finally I found someone who reminded me of my daughter. She's a little older than R, she has the type of dogs that R loves, she is a wonderful knitter - like R, she was homeschooled - well, I could just go on and on. We started writing to one another and found out we had even more in common. It's been so much fun getting into Ravelry everyday and finding a letter from her. She's also a smart knitter and has pointed some patterns out to me I probably wouldn't have found on my own. Well, I knew she was making something for 'someone' and hoped and prayed that 'someone' would be me. It was! Today the mail was dropped off and this was what was there:
How Halloweeny can you get? I don't want to use them! I guess I could hang them up for decorations until Halloween passes.

Somebody else got some treats too - Ginger. She got three little fibery goodies. First I took the fuzzy little ball out and she seemed slightly interested. The mouse is blue, Ginger's favorite color and the interest grew. Then out came the little, bitty green ball. Ginger LOVED it! She was bouncing all over the furniture throwing it here and there. Then she suddenly realized we were watching her and stopped to regain her composure.
Try as you might Ginger, we know you aren't a grouch ALL the time!

Thanks Ravelry buddy! You made my Halloween!

October 23, 2008

Celebrating in October!

October has always been a busy month in our family. We have birthdays galore and a few anniversaries kicked in for good measure.
Let's see - as for relatives, we have Candi, Heather, Terry, Chanin, Aunt Lula, and probably some more that I have forgotten. As for friends and neighbors, we have Justin, Jordan and Jessica which you can probably tell are all from the same family.
Now to anniversaries - we have RLs brother and his wife and then RL and me! We celebrate 24 years on the 27th. I cannot believe that we have been married that long! I was thinking about it the other day and I have been married to him four years longer than I wasn't. (Does that make any sense? It does to me and that's all that matters!)
Then we have the two really important birthdays in our family: my Mom and my sister, Kelly.
Today is Kelly's birthday and tomorrow is Mom's. Mom waited until she was 20 for just a few hours before she had Kel.

Here's a lovely picture dug up from the archives. Kelly is on the left, Mom is giving Daddy rabbit ears and I am on the right. Daddy doesn't look very interested in this whole picture business, does he? Yep, that's a cast from the tip of my toes to the top of my leg. It was a miniature golf accident - seriously!

I hope you both have a wonderful day and are spoiled rotten. I don't know what's planned for Kel because she's in Florida, but I do know what's planned for Mom and it involves some fibery goodness, of course!


October 16, 2008

Candy Corn Version 2.0

With enough acrylic yarn to make another Candy Corn hat and it sitting there staring at me - taunting me - I set out to make another hat. The kids were taking turns wearing the other one, so I decided to make another...one for each kiddo. This one is slightly different. Well, when you knit during the debate, you have to expect some knitting 'differences'. I lost track of the pattern and knit an extra orange row. Then I started the white before I was supposed to. Well, I will say I 'modified the pattern' so the kids could tell their hats apart. Are you buying it?
Herman wanted to model this one. He was jealous of Cindy Styrofoam Head getting to model the first one. So, Herman posed in front of the spider web and smiled his very best smile. What a fine fella he is!

October 13, 2008

Candy Corn Anyone?

Yesterday was a knitting day! I did manage to get some laundry finished, a whole lot of TV watching accomplished (a Billy and Mandy Halloween marathon and movie...good, brainless watching for a knitting afternoon), and a candy corn hat fresh off the needles.

Once again, Cindy Styrofoam Head was a more than willing model. Here's the left side.

Here's the front. Note, she's sporting it down over her eyes with a hint of attitude.

Last, but certainly not least, is the right side.

You're probably on to me. I didn't have much to blog about so you got three views of this hat. Aren't you lucky??? If you are interested, here's the pattern: http://www.skeinsandbeans.com/candycorn.pdf

I did it in acrylic yarn and on size 8 needles for the largest size. Quick knit and a fun hat!

October 10, 2008

Quiet Friday Night

What a quiet Friday night! The kids are plugged into their Nintendo DSs and the television is off. I can't think of a better way to spend the evening. Well, if I had my knitting needles going, that might be a better.
I finally finished the Special Olympics Scarf. Boy, it was a toughie. The pattern was very simple. The only problem was cramming 180 stitches on my number 8 straights. Whew! It was a tight fit. I should have just sucked it up and gotten a pair of circular needles, but I wanted to get the scarf finished and didn't want to spend the money. Guess that's what I get for being a tightwad!

I really like the way it turned out on both sides. It almost looks like sewn stitches running on the other side.

Here's a nice and blurry picture for you of Rs latest creation. We all drink out of glasses that look the same and she normally wraps a paper napkin around hers so she knows it's hers. She decided not to waste anymore napkins or waste anymore time looking for a coaster. So, she dug through the cotton stash - we have a very healthy cotton stash - and set to work designing her glass identifier/coaster. The pattern is the same as the scarf she entered in the fair. The bottom turned out to be star shaped, which was a happy coincidence. She also doubled the yarn on the bottom so it would be more absorbant. I hope she plans on making more. I really like the look of it!

October 7, 2008

Guess What????

Desperately searching for jeans this morning after being entirely too lazy to empty the dryer after drying a load of clothes the other day, I flung open the door and there were jeans for everybody for today. Yay! That would be enough to make my feeble little mind rejoice. However, the Lord works in mysterious ways and I was in for a bigger reason to rejoice. $20 fell onto the floor when I got the clothes out. Hmmm, must belong to RL or the kids. I took the clothes into my room and then got a weird feeling...what if that money was part of the money I thought I had lost the morning of the fair???? So, I went back to the dryer and on the floor in front of it was another $20. Do you think it's the long lost fair money that I whined on and on about? That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

There's been more sock knitting going on in these parts.

I have to admit, there's always knitting going on in these parts, but this was the latest knitting. I finished them the night before last and had to wait for a photo op so I could show you. I think they turned out pretty good. Of course the yarn is from Knit Picks and the pattern is the good old generic sock pattern from the Yarn Harlot that I tend to use for some mindless knitting. Since the fair, mindless knitting has been the order of the week!

Anybody out there making a scarf for the Special Olympics? I noticed Ravelry had a group going and also I've seen articles in knitting mags. I cast on for one last night. It's also some mindless knitting, but it's certainly for a worthy cause. Check out Ravelry for more information. You might want to participate. It calls for Red Heart yarn - which we all know isn't difficult to find and probably won't break the bank. However, and here's the clincher, finding the blue was really hard. I went to all the normal Red Heart places and couldn't find it. On a whim I went to Wal-Mart and there was Delft Blue! So, check Wal-Mart first - learn from my mistake!

That's it! I've got to call RL and tell him about my dryer experience. I think it's definitely worth sharing!

October 4, 2008

Fair? I Don't Think So!

Yesterday was the Fair. The day started off well enough. Waking up was probably the best part of the day. It went downhill from there. Not a slow decline either, it was quite rapid. Around these parts, the children - excuse me, young adults - don't feel like they need to go to bed with their parents - excuse me, butt dragging old people. So, they stay up and play Battlefield, knit, read, watch television, etc. and RL and I assume our snoring positions. 'Fair Eve' was no different although they were both told they needed to head to bed at a decent time so we could get to the Fair before the prices rose from $3 to $8 per person. Parking is $7 no matter what time you go. The Fair is quite an expensive venture. I woke the young adults around 11:00. I had a wild couple of hours ahead of me. I had to go to the bank, take out a small loan so we could afford to go - well, not really, but it felt like it! - go back to get the kids, go to a drive thru and pick up something to eat on the run, hit the interstate, go across town to pick up RL and then head to the fair to see what R won. L is a great sport about it even though he doesn't enter anything.
Fair pictures were taken at my Mom and Dad's house and of course we had a few nosey onlookers!

I woke the kids, threatened them within an inch of their lives that they needed to be ready by the time I got back from the bank. I got some money out of the ATM and realized it probably wasn't enough. I tucked in under my armpit and got some more out. Why did I tuck it in my armpit? I have NO idea. Don't ask me stupid questions about my stupid activities! I can't explain them. Lack of sleep? Feeling rushed? I don't know. I can play the blame game all day and it isn't going to get us anywhere. So, I got more money out of the ATM, grabbed the money and receipt from my armpit and stuck it and the other money in my jeans pocket. Headed home to see the progress of the kids. Pulled into the driveway and reached into my pocket to get the money out - only a third of it was there. Not in the car, not in my jeans, not anywhere! I guess I had grabbed the receipt and not the money. Somebody got a $40 bonus yesterday. Whoever you are, I hope you enjoyed it! ARGH! I went back to the bank hoping some sweet, honest soul had turned it in. Nope. Got more money and headed back home.
That's one big-butt pumpkin!
The kids were ready so off we went. We went to the local drive thru and got something to eat. The order was $10, I gave him a $20 and he gave me the order. We hit the interstate when it hit me that he hadn't given me change. We didn't have time to turn back around because I still had to get across town with an hour on the clock. I'm out $50 now for those of you keeping track.
These little guys were adorable and not any bigger than a minute!
At this point, I'm freaking out about everything but trying desperately not to. Okay, can't afford to lose $50, but that's just the way the day is going and it's going to be okay. Made an executive decision not to pick RL up from work because if he went to the Fair he was going to have to work this weekend. He needed a full weekend off, so I called him to discuss it with him. He was fine. Thank goodness - something was fine! Got to the Fair, paid for parking - $7 - ridiculous! Went to the ticket booth with about 15 minutes to spare before the rates went up and out the roof. Gave the lady $12 for three people - my fault. Did she notice? Of course not. Should have gotten back $3. Did I? Of course not. Grand total of lost money: $53.
What an incredibly soft camel! We were trying to figure out how to get some fiber from him!
Now, some of you might think I'm doing a credit card commercial. You know: Money lost at bank: $40. Money lost at drive thru: $10. Money lost at Fair $3. Seeing R's face when she's won Best of Show: Priceless. But no, my bloggy friends....this story does not end that way. We went into the display area and the bottom fell out.
Third Place for these beauties. We were fine with that.
Nothing for this. A wee bit disappointed, but okay.
Blue Ribbon for this Malabrigo scarf - pattern R's own. Doing pretty good at this point.
Gorgeous Elizabeth Zimmerman socks that were a royal pain in the butt to make and learned a real lesson in perserverance - NOTHING. NADA. NIL. ZIP. The tears started to flow. Oh, she held it together until she saw that she had been beaten out by a Red Heart Acrylic sweater. Yep, if that don't beat all. Now I know that she has been lucky in years past. Maybe a little too lucky. But this year the judging, well, the judging sucked. Not just because my kid lost, but because a lot of people were ripped off. I saw a knitter and a crocheter on a bench enjoying the fresh, fall air, working away on their fibery goodness and asked if they entered anything. Yes. Did they win? One of them did. But, she still felt that the judging was not fair. Interesting.
Ever have one of those bad hair days?
Before we left to wallow in our self pity, R wanted take pictures of the winners in hopes of figuring it all out. I was standing there by the case next to a woman who was shaking her head and 'tsking' in disgust. Did you enter anything, I asked. Yes. Did you win? Well, I came in third, but this won. 'This' was the Red Heart acrylic sweater'.
Am I bitter? Not really. It sounds like it, but we had been through a lot that morning and that was just the icing on the cake. Do I think that R was ripped off? Of course. But then again, I am the person watching her blood, sweat and tears during the entire process. RL and I are the people funding this crazy little ride every year. It costs more every year. Is it worth it? Not to me - not anymore. When a judge cannot see the craftsmanship put into an item - and we are talking about turning that sucker inside out and looking at the eveness of the floats and how one color is always on the bottom and one is always woven in on the top - they don't deserve to judge. Do I think she should have walked away with a grand prize? Well, I'm her mother so I will always feel that way. However, I am also a knitter and I can appreciate when someone else wins because of the time, effort and quality of the materials they put into it. Do I want her to participate next year? Not a bloody bit. But the decision is not mine to make. It's hers and she will probably not feel the same way in a year. She will probably forget a little of the tears and walk in there confident that she will win first place with something new and wonderful that she has dreamed up and spent countless hours working on. And I will encourage her just like I always have. She's my kid and she deserves the best and I'm just along for the ride!