Thursday, June 29, 2006

Exercise or knit? Which would you rather do?

I continue to reconstruct Icarus. As you will recall, I ripped back to the beginning of the last repeat of Chart 1 on Tuesday. I've done 5 rows since then. I simply can't do this and watch tv. From now on I will listen to podcasts and audio book while I knit on this shawl. I know you experienced lace knitters are saying to yourselves, "What is her problem? Chart 1 is the easy part!" but I keep making mistakes. Complacent inattentiveness, I guess. Still when all is said and done, I'm enjoying the hell out of this and I know it's going to look great when it's done.

I am so obsessed with finishing this that I even resent the half-hour that I spend at Curves and wondered if I could knit while I work out. All the time I'm there I'm thinking that I could be knitting. Hell, I'd rather be doing just about anything else. I find Curves to be so mind-numbingly boring that I can barely force myself to go. I know it's only one half-hour three times a week and I know it's good for me but does it have to be so dull? The ladies there try to perk it up by having games and puzzles to do while you exercise and that has helped tremendously but those of us with short attention spans are still counting the seconds 'til we finish that last repeat. Or maybe I'm the only one who feel that way.

Anyway, tonight is a baseball game and if it doesn't rain (over 8" since Sunday here) we'll be going. That means a few hours of uninterrupted knitting. The stadium flooded Monday with water waist deep in the dugouts and a couple feet in the locker rooms and the offices, but they played last night after a late start. There's no stopping the boys of summer.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Knitting found in a cartoon...

Here is link to a cartoon I recently started reading called "Little Dee". It's about a group of wild animals who are raising a little girl they found in the woods. One of the characters, a vulture named Vachel, decides to knit Dee a sweater since winter is coming. I've only been reading this a couple of days but I really like it. Vachel's description of moss stitch is right on. I'm going to email the artist.

Heavy Rains Douse Fire

Yesterday afternoon we received another 3 inches of rain, 2 of it in about 45 minutes. Even a barn full of smoldering hay couldn't stand up to that much rain. The cleanup will be begin today. Friends are coming in with heavy equipment to help move the debris. The metal from the vehicles and farm equipment will be sent to our local recycling center. I don't know what they will do with the rest of the debris. My husband and I talked about it last night and said that it was like loosing a family member and he agreed. We are in mourning. I can't imagine how people cope with this type of loss on a working farm.

On the knitting front, I crowed about my progress on Icarus a little too soon. I found a mistake and since I am obsessive compulsive I couldn't let it go. I ripped back to the lifeline I put in before I started Chart 2, removed the lifeline, and went back to the lifeline at the beginning of the last repeat of Chart 1. It hurt sooooo bad, but I had to do it. It couldn't be fixed (by me anyway) but just dropping back. I spent 2 hours trying. So I ripped!

This destroyed any chance I had of finishing this before July 7th. Oh well, I want to do it right so that I can truely be proud of my accomplishment and not see the mistakes every time I look at it.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Disaster Strikes the Family Farm

Last night at 10:53 our phone rang. It's never a good thing to receive a call that late. my husband Doug answered, I was in the living room knitting on Icarus and he was in the bedroom folding the laundry (yes, I know, he's one in a million). Out he came and said something about a barn fire. He was going down to drive his dad over to the other farm.

Here's a little background. My father-in-law Larry and his brother Frank were dairy farmers their whole lives as was their father before them and so on. They sold the herds and retired about 12 years ago. Larry and Joyce live on the original family farm that's been in the family for generations and Doug and I live up on the hill behind them. Frank and his family live on farms that were purchased during the 40's on another road about 3 miles from us. The fire was at the farm occupied by one of Frank's sons.

I followed Doug and Larry over to the other farm and we could see the glow in the sky while we were still a mile away. It was raining, thankfully, and had been raining for most of the day and the night before. Everything was soaked and so the fire didn't spread into the fields which had been tinder-dry 3 days before.

Here is a link to the very preliminary story in our local paper. The photo above was taken by one of their photographers. I took some pictures with my phone.

This one shows the silo and the adjacent wagon shed which was saved.

This one shows the front of the barn where the fire was burning very high. Do you see the creepy bat-like formation in the center? It looks like two big bat ears, two glowing eyes, and a firey mouth.

Here is a better view of the silo. The heat buckled the side (you can sort of see it a little over halfway up the side) of it but it didn't collapse. It was empty so that probably helped. The blue in the upper left corner is my umbrella.

Larry and Frank told the fire crews to just let it burn since it was too far gone to be saved. It was full of hay and the bales burn very slowly.

None of the family or firefighters were injured and there aren't any cows on the farm anymore. No one was able to get a count of the barn cats last night but hopefully they all made it out ok. We have no idea as yet how it started.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Higher Math

I stopped at lunchtime and did some calculations. I have finished 147 rows and have 315 stitches on my needles. This works out right because I finished row 27 of the fifth repeat.

42 + 9 + (4 x 24) = 147.

  • 42 for chart 1
  • 4 x 24 for the four repeats of rows 19-42 of chart 1
  • 9 rows completed on the fifth repeat of chart 1

I have 31 rows to go (15 more rows for the fifth repeat and then rows 19-34) on chart 1 which will add 60 more stitiches (15 x 4 = 60) bringing my total stitches to 375 which is what the pattern calls for.

Yee Haw! I love it when a plan comes together!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Knitting in Public

I knit in public a lot. I'm always dragging my knitting around here, there, and everywhere. So it's funny that I didn't get to participate in National (or World) Knit in Public Day. I didn't have to go anywhere so I stayed home and knitted until time to go to a wedding. I took the knitting along to the wedding but it was too crowded at the reception to knit.

But yesterday I was at the Mall waiting for a friend to show up. We were going to the movies and I had time to kill so I was knitting on a bench near the food court. Everyone ignored me except one very young couple. The man (hardly more than a teenager) walked over to me and asked if what I was doing was hard. I told him no, it wasn't hard at all. He said thanks and walked away with his female companion. I was left wondering what motived him to come over and ask me that question. He didn't ask me what I was doing as some people do. "Is that knitting or crocheting?" I get that one occasionally. He must have known what it was. Why was he interested and not his companion? Questions, questions.

I continue with Icarus. I still hope to finish by July 7 when the Mystery Stole begins.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Mystery Stole #2 KAL!!

I just joined another KAL. Melanie is doing a lace stole kal with a twist - she will publish a chart each week starting July 7! No one but her knows what the finished stole will look like. This is the second one (duh, #2) she's done but I missed the first one. It sounds like a hoot. The problem is I am certain that, barring a miracle of biblical proportions or an intervention by knitting elves, I will not be finished with Icarus by then. Oh well, there's no law against being in two KAL's at once. Yeah, I can handle it. No problem...

Cruisin' on the Choptank

Hubby and I took a dinner cruise aboard the Choptank River Queen yesterday. Maryland crabcakes and fried chicken, yummy! And the great thing is that Hubby doesn't like seafood so I got his crabcake and he took my drumstick. I'd call that more than fair, at least from my perspective.

It was a bus trip through our community college. I think we were the youngest people on the bus. I worked on the Icarus shawl part of the way down and the whole way back. I finaly got back to where I ripped it the last time. Time for a lifeline.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Work on the Icarus Shawl Continues...

Icarus at our local Minor League game.

Icarus in the grass.

I'm working on the shawl every chance I get but I'm not the fastest knitter in the world by any means. Yesterday Hubby and I went to the Suns game, they're our local minor league (single A) team. We go to most of the home games. It was a wonderful day. I know it looks cloudy in the photo but they were big white clouds with blue sky between. The heat wave ended on Friday night when thunder storms and hail swept through. I was beginning to despair that summer had come to stay. I HATE Maryland in the summer when the forecast, day after day, is hazy, hot, and humid.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Quick Update

We had a turkey in the back yard this morning when we got up. One lone tom who was just standing around preening. He finally wandered over to the neighbors. I guess he got tired of the sheep and wanted to hang with their goats for a while. The sheep aren't ours but they graze on our land in the summer.

I am endevouring to persevere on the Icarus Shawl. Thank god for lifelines! I've been back to the same one three times now. I keep making stupid mistakes due to lack of attentiveness. If I can knit 5 rows without a mistake I swear I will add another lifeline. Maybe then I can make a little progress.

We have been given the opportunity to buy a pair of alpacas at a very reasonable price. Some aquaintenses bought a winter home in Florida and have decided to downsize their herd. They are a registered male and female and she is preggers. We are still considering it: trying to figure out if we want to go in the alpaca business.