Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Yarn Along 2016.26: And More Purple!

After a short work day followed by a great ride this morning--such a cool, beautiful morning with gorgeous blue skies--I'm back home and joining Ginny for this week's Yarn Along.

Over the weekend, I finished the penguin wash cloth I have been making for DD1.  And, since plans for vacationing with K3 and Toad changed slightly; (well, changed a lot because a 10 day vacation cut down to 4-5 days is a pretty significant difference) I decided I have enough time to knit one more wash cloth for DD1's birthday package.

So, I'm doing the chill out! pattern in yet another shade of purple yarn from my stash.  I think it might be the last skein of purple dish cloth yarn I have.  Which is okay, because I should start thinking about birthday knits for DD2, since she is next up on the birthday list (thankfully not until Fall) and she prefers blues over purple.

I have yet to begin reading, but I have a whole stack of murder mysteries from the library ready for my 'extra' vacation time--the days I will be off work (since I had all ready secured the time off from both farms) but not yet have K3 and Toad with us.  One is a horse riding themed mystery, the other two are Amish mysteries. Two of my favorite subjects.  :0)  I just can't quite decide if I should start with Murder She Rode, Falling to Pieces, or Plain Murder.

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Biggest Balloons They Ever Saw

This past weekend was Balloonfest in a town about half hour away from this little place here.  DH and I decided it might be fun to take K3 and Toad to go watch the balloon launch on Saturday evening.

The kids, of course, were excited to be going with Grandpa and Grandma to see balloons.  They are still young enough that any kind of balloon is exciting.  I don't think they totally comprehended that we were going to see hot air balloons until the canopies of said balloons started to get inflated.

When we first arrived, and parked with lots and lots of other cars, then walked probably close to a mile from the parking area to the launch area, K3 asked where the balloons were.  Come to find out, she was thinking of helium balloons, like she'd had at her birthday party back in April.  She was slightly disappointed to find out there were no helium balloons. But, we promised, there would be really, really big balloons, and she would like it.  Then she spotted the stunt kites being flown, and forgot, for a while, about balloons.

We found a spot to sit where we'd be able to see the balloons in all the stages of launch.  So we spread out the blanket I'd brought to sit on, and we waited.  For a long time, all we saw was trucks and vans all lined up, with balloon baskets behind them.

But then, balloon canopies began to be unrolled from their storage bags, and laid out on the ground.

And suddenly, the launch was on.  There were canopies everywhere, and fans and burners going, blowing hot air into the canopies to inflate them.  It was hard to know exactly which one to watch, it seemed like the field was suddenly full of colors.

One after another, and sometimes even two or three at once, the balloons began to stand up.

Once in a while, you could even see the big flame from the burner that was being used to 'blow up' the balloon.

Then they began to lift off, some flying right above where we sat.

In what seemed like just a few minutes, but was actually about an hour from when the canopies had been unpacked onto the ground, all 48 balloons had been inflated, and most had sailed out of sight.  The field was pretty much empty, and it was time to take K3 and Toad home for bedtime.

You know, neither one said a thing about helium balloons.  All they wanted to talk about was the big pretty ones that the people flew away in.  The biggest balloons they ever saw.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Yarn Along 2016.25: Even More Purple

Because DD1's birthday is coming up in just about two weeks; the knitting of purple continues.  ;0)  Even though the socks are done, I still have time, and purple yarn, to make at least one more birthday item.

Joining with Ginny for the Yarn Along today.

This past weekend, I stitched down the cast on edges of DD1's Dottie Socks II to make the picot edge.  They came out really cute; I think she's going to love them.  I couldn't resist modeling for a picture even though they are too big around for me. Which means they should fit her ankles perfectly.

While looking for a tutorial to confirm my thoughts on how I was supposed to whipstitch the edge down, forming the picot trim, I found a different way of making picot edging on socks.  I think next time I will try that and eliminate the need to come back after knitting the entire sock to make the picots.

With the socks finished, and a blazingly hot and humid Sunday in which yard work or gardening were a death wish, I decided to cast on for a penguin wash cloth.  Because, well, DD1 also loves penguins.  And I have purple dish cloth yarn in my stash for just such a project.  Looking at this picture now, I realize that the sundress I was wearing on Sunday also has quite a bit of purple. . . 

Both Monday and Tuesday I spent my afternoons doing house work and my evenings in the garden until sundown (nearly 10 p.m. this time of year), so I haven't gotten very far on the wash cloth.  I may or may not have time to make a second one in another penguin design before her birthday arrives.  I guess that depends on if we have any more intensely hot weather in the coming week.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Potential Disasters in My Fridge

Earlier today, I was reaching in the fridge for a Tupperware container of homemade sauce, not really looking what I was doing, just grabbing at the right size and shape container.  Then, my brain kicked on and I realized that I should pay attention to what I was getting.  Because, there on the shelf, were two Tupperware containers of the same geometry, just with different color lids, and slightly different color contents.  But definitely not anywhere close to the same sauce, and to mix them up would be rather disastrous.

Because I don't think chocolate chicken or barbecue milk are edible.  They probably wouldn't kill you, but they definitely wouldn't taste good.  Chocolate milk and barbecue chicken are much better.

As you can see, the two sauces look similar, and if you weren't paying attention you could possibly marinate your grilling meat in chocolate sauce.  Or stir a big spoonful on barbecue sauce into your glass of milk. BLECH!

Of course I could designate specific color lids for specific sauces.  But that would mean I couldn't use those lids for other things, and typically they get used pretty often.  It's not uncommon for me to dump some liquid or other into one of my numerous Tupperware cylinders, then go rummaging through the Lid Drawer only to find all my round lids are employed elsewhere (how I ended up with more containers than lids, I'll never know).

Or, alternately, I could label the sauce containers with a piece of tape across the middle and "CHOCOLATE" or "BBQ" in big letters.  But, when I've done that in the past, the tape tends to go through the dishwasher with the empty container, and then it is really difficult to remove when I want to put something else in the container.

So I'll probably keep doing what I've been doing and just putting unlabeled sauces into whatever right size cylinder I have, and slapping on whatever round lid I can find in the Lid Drawer.  And we'll keep playing Russian Roulette when we just open the fridge and grab in the general direction of whatever sauces are in there.

(Chocolate sauce recipe here, and BBQ sauce recipe here.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Yarn Along 2016.24: I Could Have Finished Last Night. . .

Happy Wednesday.  I'm joining Ginny's Yarn Along pretty late today.

I could have finished DD2's birthday socks (Dottie Sock II) last night.  I intended to finish them last night.  I even looked up how to best whipstitch the hems on the cuffs to make the picot edges.  But, then I realized I was playing yarn chicken with my skein.

Never fear!  I have an extra skein of the exact same yarn, just in case.  Well, honestly, it was because when I bought the yarn I planned to make full sized socks, not ankle socks. But anyway. . .

I have another, identical skein of purple yarn, so I wasn't worried about the fact that my first skein was dwindling faster than the foot of the sock--I'm into the toe decrease.  I wasn't worried, that is, until I went to get that second skein last night.

And could not find it anywhere!


So, today, I do not have finished socks to show for the yarn along.  I have a mostly finished sock #2.  And, hiding somewhere in my sewing/craft room (that doubles as an extra bedroom and was in use as such for part of last weekend) is the elusive matching yarn to complete it with.

I guess we'll just have to wait til next week to see how they turn out.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Yarn Along 2016.23: More Purple Fun

Happy Yarn Along Day!  It is a gorgeous Wednesday here, bright blue sky full of sunshine, light breeze, and moderate temperature.  My hayfield is being cut as I type this (which means some hot, sweaty, hours of bale stacking to be done on Friday afternoon. . .).  It is a perfect June day.

I'm joining Ginny for the Yarn Along.

In the past week I finished (except for turning down the cuff and whip stitching it to make the picot edge, that is) the first of the pair of Dottie Socks II that I am making as part of DD1's birthday present.  It is such a vibrant purple, and so soft to the touch that I think she is going to love it.  And consequently wear these socks a lot. Which means I should probably order some more of this Knit Picks Comfy in shades of purple to make her more socks when these get worn out.  :0)

Also in the past week, the current issue of Taproot magazine arrived in my mailbox. And guess what--it's purple too!  All kinds of purple fun going on here lately.  I've been reading it whenever I get a few minutes; looks like a great issue.

As you can see from the picture above, I've started on the second sock. I have about four more rows of 'leg' to go, then I will divide for the heel.  So, maybe, if putting up hay as well as working in the garden (in addition to my regular jobs at the two horse farms I am working at) doesn't take up too much of my time in the next few days, I will be able to show you two finished socks next Wednesday.  Complete with picot edges.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Fun With the Grandkids

This past weekend, we had K3 and Toad come visit on Sunday after church.  Other than at the parade on Memorial Day, DH and I hadn't seen them in over two weeks.  So, we made arrangements for them to come home from church with us on Sunday and stay for about five hours while K2 was working and DS1 tried to catch up on yard work and other chores at their house.

At first, the weather was kind of nasty; a thunderstorm rolled through during church and left everything wet and windy.  But, by the time we'd eaten lunch, done some coloring, and attempted to bowl in the hallway by the stairs (with a cheapy plastic bowling set I'd picked up at Goodwill the week before), the sun had come out and the ground had dried up enough for us to go outside and play.

Once K3 was tired of driving the Little Tikes tractor (another Goodwill find, last year, at $4.99) through mud puddles in the driveway, and she and Toad had inspected the 'broken tire' of our real tractor. . .

actually, the tire is fine, it just doesn't belong in the bucket

it should be on here, except

we have a 'slight' problem
(happened while hauling in firewood from the woods on Saturday evening)

. . . she asked if I would get the "colors for drawing outside".  It took me a minute or two to figure out what she meant, and then another five minutes or so to find where our old sidewalk chalk--leftover from when DD2 was younger--had gotten put after we'd played with during an April visit with them.

Both K3 and Toad like to 'color' with the sidewalk chalk, either on the cement apron in front of the garage, or on the pavers down on the patio. Because there was less wind on the patio than in front of the garage on Sunday, they chose to draw on the bumpy paving bricks.

One of their favorite things to do, when they get tired of making lines and circles and tracing their hands and feet, is to lay down and have me trace their outline in chalk.  DH calls it making a crime scene, LOL, because with those little chalk bodies lying around it does rather look like something out of a detective tv show.

This time, it especially resembled a crime scene, as the kids weren't satisfied with just being traced once each.  I think there were six small 'bodies' on the patio before they were happy.

Then, K3 wanted to 'color' me, so I lay down in one of the few remaining large areas, and let her trace around me with chalk.  I came out rather large and bloated, but at least she gave me a smiley face once moved out of the way and we could see the new 'me' on the pavers.

She even talked DH into getting his outline done. Although his person didn't get a smiling countenance.  But then again, if it looked like I'd been killed by being beaten over the head with a broom, I probably wouldn't smile either.

She even drew in his beard.  Or tried to.  It's a little shorter and more bushy in person.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Yarn Along 2016.22: Purple Means DD1

Happy Wednesday, Yarn Along Friends!  It's very breezy and overcast here, with storms forecast for this afternoon.  I'm joining Ginny today to see what everyone is knitting (and crocheting) and reading.

In the past two days, I cast on and knit the 'leg' and heel portions of the first sock in a pair of ankle socks that will be a birthday present next month.  I have to be careful who I knit them near, though, because the yarn is a very vibrant purple. And in this family, purple means DD1. It has been her favorite color since she was old enough to declare a favorite. So, you see, if she happened to be here visiting (such as from Friday through Monday afternoon), I could not possibly work on these socks. Because they are purple.  And as soon as she saw me knitting with purple yarn, she would know I am knitting something for her.  And then there would be no birthday surprise.

The pattern is Dottie Sock II.  It will have a picot edge on in when I'm done, not the rolled edge it looks like it currently has. I am knitting it on size 2 dpns, since DD1 has 'manly'--aka wide/thick-- feet and ankles (and the pair of Rosamond socks I made her for Christmas on size 1s were a bit tight she said).  The yarn is Knit Picks Comfy (cotton) and feels like it should have plenty of stretch to fit DD1 comfortably.  And, being ankle socks, I will definitely get them finished in time for her birthday in early July!