altivo: My mare Contessa (nosy tess)
I've been busy making socks. Why not just buy them? Because when I make my own I get what I want, not what mass producers want to sell. For instance, I wanted some nice heavy and warm socks to wear inside my rubber work boots for barn stuff in winter.

Sock knitting details under cut )
altivo: Horsie cupcakes (cupcake)
Today is the Day of the Rock, an archaic term for the first day of ordinary time after the Christmas holiday of 12 days' length. "Rock" in this case being an old word used to refer to a spindle, the primitive tool used for spinning wool or linen into thread that can be woven or knitted into garments. Some of you may recall a puzzling song lyric: "I sold my rock, I sold my reel, I sold my only spinning wheel..." which in fact uses the word in that context.

In more generic terms, today is the first day on which ordinary household tasks, such as spinning, weaving, sewing, and laundry, are resumed after the Christmas break.

So. Did I do any spinning today? Alas, no, my spinning wheels (3 of them) and my spindles (many) remained idle. However, I did do some knitting and may get some more done before going to bed. We cooked and washed dishes and cared for our animals too, but those things never stop for any holiday. Well, neither does knitting.

We did celebrate the Day of the Rock by going to two stores that were having yarn sales, though. We bought nothing at Michael's, but did get some yarn and tools at Joann Fabrics. I have at least three knitting projects going at the moment and I'm buying more yarn? It was a "bargain." But I'll be honest, it's also a kind of addiction. At least it's not harmful to one's health. I have other addictions too: reading, buying books, a lifelong attraction and attachment to animals of all sorts, playing keyboard instruments (sometimes badly) and so forth. Love me, love my flaws I guess. Fortunately my husband shares many of these to some degree, so we have few problems with it.

As I type this, one of those animals is snuggled up with me on the sofa. Yes, even though I yelled at him yesterday for eating my mittens. I shouldn't have left them within his reach, of course, even though he has rarely done anything like that in the nine or so months he has been with us. He sheds fur, drools water on the floor, and barks too much; but Laddie is a first class cuddler and that gets him a pass on most of his flaws.

Happy Day of the Rock to one and all.

It's cold

Jan. 4th, 2017 05:14 pm
altivo: Commission line art colored by myself (cs-tivo-color)
Even with the extra insulation, new roof, and modernized geothermal furnace, the house is too chilly for me. Thank Epona there are woodstoves and we have wood. I know, it's adding pollutants to the atmosphere. *shrinks in shame, but isn't shivering*

Experimenting with knitting on a frame (also called a "jenny" or a "rake" or a knitting board.) This because husband Gary asked for a sock knitting frame for Christmas and I got it for him. He has tried conventional knitting but didn't persist long enough to overcome the initial lack of coordination that plagues most beginners. I had doubts that the sock loom would solve that, especially since it is designed for fine yarn and lots of stitches per row. However, when I started him on a larger plastic hoop frame with heavier yarn he took right off and has about two feet of a scarf completed. I gave him several instructional books with patterns and he's already talking about afghans. Consequently I figure I'd better brush up on my own knowledge of the process.

Since I've knitted in the traditional way with needles for more than 50 years, the frame seems slow and clumsy. It also lacks flexibility as to gauge and size. But it does work and I see it is possible to do a lot more with it than I had expected. So, socks are underway and we'll see. In spare minutes here and there I can usually finish a pair of socks in a week or so. This first set may take somewhat longer.

In other news, it's cold. Oh wait, I said that already. At least we could see the sun today and it definitely stayed around later before we were plunged into icy darkness.

No rain

Jun. 21st, 2012 10:22 pm
altivo: Blinking Altivo (altivo blink)
Again. It's getting very dry here, grass is starting to turn brown. Rain was predicted for last night and this morning, but nothing happened. There were a few clouds, but it cleared up. The temperature dropped, though. Highs around 90F the last couple of days dropped back to 70 or so today.

Busy weekend on the horizon, with handspinning demos both days, one at a fair on Saturday and the other a sort of historical recreation at a heritage farm on Sunday.

Pulled out a stalled project (Tom Baker's Dr Who scarf) that was in my closet for years. Fortunately it was acrylic washable yarn, so no moths. Unfortunately, mice had chewed a couple of small holes at some point. Started wondering when and... By my calculation, this project was started between 27 and 28 years ago. It was about 75% complete and got interrupted. I think the interruption was our move from an apartment building where we had two apartments facing each other across the hall to our first house. That was 1985. Anyway, the mouse damage is repairable, and the scarf will be done soon as I'm a much faster knitter than I was in 1985. It's based on a pattern distributed by the BBC back in 1982, so it's the same huge long colorful thing that Baker used to wear. It was supposed to be for Gary, and will be. I'm just going to borrow it for a couple of days to use at IFC in August. :D

Spring?

Mar. 10th, 2012 09:41 pm
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
Maybe, at last. Into the 50s and sunny again today.

Yet another solar flare with attendant CME took place. This one is supposed to hit tomorrow sometime. I think we're expecting clouds and rain, but at least the temperatures will hold up.

Guild meeting this morning with an exploration of wool from different sheep breeds. Interesting stuff, samples passed out to play with, as if I had enough time... But I did take a couple that interested me.

Finished a birthday gift, a knit cap for a friend. We made an embroidered patch with a picture (sort of like a badge) and I sewed it on this evening. Now just need to wrap it and get it in the mail on Monday. Remaining tasks for tomorrow: laundry, and fursuit repairs and updates.

I've been up since 4 am this morning. Time for sleep, I think. Gary is off at a Civil War Ball and wont be back until late.

Still cold

Feb. 28th, 2012 10:33 pm
altivo: My mare Contessa (nosy tess)
Despite a forecast for warmer temperatures tonight, we're down in the 20s again.

Spent a good part of the day on computer issues that shouldn't be issues, but they are. Success in resolving a couple, others remain problematic.

Finished knitting another cap, will give this one to Gary.

And that't the extent of the news, I guess.
altivo: Clydesdale Pegasus (pegasus)
Gallery show in Woodstock is now hanging. (Old Courthouse Arts Center, 101 N. Johnson St. on the Square, October 6 – 30. Thu – Sat 11 am – 5 pm, Sun 1 &ndash 5 pm) Show opens on Thursday at 11 am. Free admission, if you're in the area come see us.

Challenge scarves


Above is a close-up view of the spinning guild challenge submissions. These scarves were all made entirely from yarn spun with hand spindles. My scarf, about which you've seen me complaining for some time, was completed in time and is the rainbow colored lacy one at center.
altivo: (rocking horse)
At least I'm pleased with the results, now that all the colors are together. Must end it sometime yet tonight, one way or another, but knitting furiously to achieve a balanced proportion in the last green.

New plush arrived today. Photos tomorrow of both scarf and plush, I guess.
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
Well actually Sl 1 as to p, k2, * yo, k2tog rep from * until 2 sts remain, k2... Next 2 rows, Sl 1 as to p, k to end of row.

A very simple lace pattern scarf. I want to get it done by Tuesday morning. So...

Cold last night, but no frost here. Sunny today, which is a nice change, though it was still chilly. Supposed to make 70s (F) the rest of this week, and remain sunny which should be nice.

Guild newsletter done and sent out. Gallery show judged and at least theoretically ready to hang on Tuesday. I think, just maybe, I'll find a little bit of relax time coming somewhere in the next couple of weeks. Maybe. If nothing else goes wrong and nothing new comes up. Gosh, I won't know what to do with myself.

Tess got to go out and eat grass yesterday and today, so she's happy and not yelling at me whenever I pass by. Red, however, is as usual not convinced that he got enough for dinner so he's following us around with pitiful/hopeful looks. He's supposed to lose a little weight, but I don't think he has. He did, however, learn quickly how to recognize an apple peeler by sound or sight. He promptly plops in the middle of the kitchen floor and each time I step over him he reminds me "All your apple peels are belong to me" or something to that effect. Hmm, now I wonder if he's actually a piggie in dog's clothing.
altivo: From a con badge (studious)
I think I've arrived at a truce over the writing thing. Would-be student admits that he has never read much of anything but comics and manga. This explains a great deal. The remaining mystery is why he would be attracted to writing when he doesn't really like to read. First time I've ever encountered that.

Work busy, heating/cooling system misbehaving again. We are in air conditioning cooling or pump in outside air weather now, but the heat had been on for one night about a week ago. We noticed that the mechanical room has been exceptionally warm, enough so to affect performance of some computer equipment housed in there. Turns out the hot water boiler for the heating system has been stuck "on" and holding the water at 160°F instead of the normal 122° which would explain the excess heat. Service was called in.

A pile of Peruvian avocados was brought in by a coworker who got them from a family member who in turn works for an importer. Slightly larger than the Mexican or Californian ones we usually get, I thought they resembled green and bristly hedgehogs. All they need would be tails, since the stem bud looks like an eye when properly positioned. I brought two home and will assess them when fully ripe.

Unpredicted wave of thunderstorms washed over us around midday, in several cycles. The worst brought not just heavy rain but major lightning and several power surges that set UPS units humming loudly as they clamped down on the voltage spikes. Nothing was damaged or rebooted as far as I can tell.

Now off to knit, since I have a scarf that must be finished by Thursday if possible.

Wet

Sep. 18th, 2010 10:11 pm
altivo: Wet Altivo (wet altivo)
Gloomy and dark, with occasional rain, sometimes heavy.

That about sums it up. I feel as if I got very little done today, though actually I did a fair amount. It just wasn't what I really thought I should be doing.

I did complete a critique of the first paragraph of that long "story," and essentially re-wrote the paragraph in the end with half as many words, more action, and most of the facts still present. This is not because I'm a great writer (though of course I am... ;p) but rather because the original was so lacking in concentration and movement.

Gary brought back a tool for me from his civil war event: a knitter's distaff. It hangs from your wrist to hold a ball of yarn so you can move around while knitting without trailing a ball around behind you. I actually think it will be more useful when spinning with a drop spindle, to hold the unspun fiber. I'll have to try it that way and see.
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
I feel I'm forgetting something important about tomorrow, but I can't find it.

Have to be up early to drive to Jefferson, WI and be there by 9 am. Must remember to take everything needed for the class, but most of that is already loaded in the car. Must also take cell phone, keys, navigator (not likely to forget that one,) and very significantly, my gate pass.

In other news, after a couple of very confusing false starts, I got the two color brioche stitch I wanted going with the yellow and brown yarns I dyed last week.

Gary had class, didn't get home from Dekalb until 9:40, so dinner was late. I tried knitting after dinner and promptly started a row with the wrong color and had to pull it out. Obviously too late to think. Put GPS on charge, go to bed I guess.
altivo: Clydesdale Pegasus (pegasus)
Started the day early because Gary needed to drop his car off for a new set of tires. Fed critters and ran up to Harvard to the dealer. Except he'll have to go back Monday. After scheduling the service, he found a coupon for a $100 rebate on a set of tires on the Ford web site. They said they would honor the coupon, but it called for a brand of tires they didn't have in stock, so they had to order them in for Monday morning. Oops. Well, that much saving is worth the extra trip.

Then we went to the county fair, because I wanted to see and photograph the fiber craft exhibits now that they would be all assembled, and we like looking at the various livestock. My hunch seems to have been correct. The number of knitting and weaving entries was down this year due to their failure to print a premium book or prospectus, or to mail notices of any kind. You can't expect all those older ladies who do this stuff to be hanging on a web site looking for news. You just can't. Someone doesn't get it.

Holding the prize up for scale Then we went looking for a couple of geocaches. I walked in a tight circle around the first one a couple of times before Gary spotted it. It was his first time bagging one of these critters, but he insisted on photographic me holding the prize. It's strictly a catch and release sport, so after signing the log book and snapping photos, we put the little guy back right where we had found him.

After that we tried for a second cache, but were not successful. I'm sure we would have found it eventually, and we were probably just about tripping over it, but the mosquitoes in the second location were horrendous and we hadn't brought any repellent. I notice on geocaching.com that the hunter who located it yesterday says he actually had to wear a mosquito netting hood to go in there for it. Yuck. We'll go back later in the month when things have dried out. That particular park has two other caches very close to the one we were seeking, so it's worth the trip.

Came home, took care of horses and sheep, and made Caesar salad with chicken grilled over applewood. Also homemade biscuits. Tasty and not too terribly unhealthy either.
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
Actually this was going to be a lazy weekend, the first one in a couple of months. Neither of us has commitments, Gary is done with school for the summer, the county fair is running...

So Gary was late getting back from Chicago this morning due to an ugly jam on US 20 south of here, involving construction equipment but he didn't find out what else. There were police and an ambulance on the scene.

Then he called me at work early in the afternoon to say he had a tire blow out (fortunately not on the highway) and the lug nuts were seized up and he broke one so he was waiting for the tow truck. Outcome of that, he missed a rehearsal, had to have the wheel repaired, and tomorrow morning takes the car back for four new tires. Second set he's put on since buying that car.

I'm waiting for some jinx to hit me as well...

County fair results were posted to their website. I haven't been over there to see yet, but for seven entries I got seven ribbons. Two first, four second, one third. The fair did not print a premium book this year, and relied only on PDF files posted to their website. I think that was a bad mistake, at least in the crafts, gardening, and cooking categories. Many who would normally enter those sections are older (60 plus or retired) and do not mess with computers. The crafts supervisor told me when I was there to turn in my entries that she had a lot of complaints. If the judging results reflect the number of entries, then they are way down, at least a third less total entries than last year. I was not a judge this year, which is why I was able to submit my own work. Sunday I get the items back, along with the ribbons and a prize check (should be $22.) I'm hoping for written comments from the judge, but not holding my breath for them. (I always wrote them when I judged.)
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
...are all those little mice who helped the Tailor of Gloucester? Or even the ones who made Cinderella's ball gown?

I'm down to the finishing bits: hems, tucks, ribbons. I should have booked tomorrow off from work to make sure I'd get this all done. Must collapse soon and be up early to finish it.

Seven entries. Four are completely done. Two more will certainly be done. The seventh may not make it.
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
Making progress, but more needed.

Listening to an audiobook version of Watership Down while knitting. I've been listening to Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim in the car, but that's too intense for me to listen to while doing a confusing lacework pattern.

Sarah's bandage is off today, as an experiment. If she licks and chews at the spot too much, it may have to go back on. Gary found a spray on "sealant" made for use on dogs and cats that has a bad tasting additive to discourage licking, and we're trying that.

Gloomy and drippy all day until 4 pm or so, which means Tess never got to go out. She's going to be grumpy about it tomorrow.

Had to snicker at the gas station this morning when I stopped to refill my car's tank. They (Shell) were pushing their credit card with the promise of a 5 cent per gallon discount. In the fine print, though, they tell you that there's a minimum monthly purchase of (I think it was) 50 gallons and the discount only applies to the first 100 gallons each month. Are there that many people who use more than 100 gallons of gas a month? I don't even use the minimum 50 gallons to get the discount.

OK, back to work, slacker...

Deadlines

Jul. 30th, 2010 08:55 pm
altivo: Running Clydesdale (running clyde)
Knit knit knit knit knit knit...

Must get these done by Monday. Glad it's the weekend.
altivo: Gingerbread horse cookie (gingerhorse)
Can it really be the last weekend of the month?

Checked those "out of order" computers this morning and could find nothing wrong except that one of them had been unplugged from the ethernet jack. No response yet about Fedora and the Broadcomm NIC (sounds like an Aesop's Fable to me.) So I got to catalog for the rest of the morning, though my desk still looked buried when I left at 12:30.

Other than the mosquitoes and flies, it was a pleasant enough day. Tess got to go out (after missing yesterday due to heavy rain) and I got to go to the spinning study group, though there were only three of us. County fair supervisor called about the fiber arts department. I was afraid she was going to ask me to judge again, though I passed that responsibility to someone else for this year. No, she just wanted to make sure that I had seen the fair's web site and would be entering work in the exhibits as promised. I assured her that I had things to show, which I do.

In fact, it may be a question of trimming down the number of entries rather than getting it high enough. There is no reason not to enter items that were displayed in our Woodstock show last October, as they were still completed within the last 12 months and have never been in the county fair before. I still should whip out some fresh knitted item, but I have an idea for a scarf that won't take long if it works.

Meanwhile, tomorrow is my boss' last official day before being retired. We are having pizza at lunch tomorrow, but there's also a retirement pot luck Saturday evening at a colleague's home. I got tapped today to give the toast, which requires some thought. Anyone know of a good quote from someone like, oh, say Dorothy Parker or H. L. Mencken that would be good for a laugh about libraries or librarians? Lacking that, I'd say Shakespeare but he apparently never mentioned either one in any significant way. He does say a lot about books, of course, but most of it is just sideways reference.

No big snow

Jan. 7th, 2010 08:31 pm
altivo: 'Tivo as a plush toy (Miktar's plushie)
It did snow, just not as much as they said it would. We got somewhere between four and five inches of new powder here at the farm. At work, there was somewhat less, maybe three inches. Instead of continuing with heavy snow all day and into the night, things had pretty much dropped back to light flurries by noon time. Sorta disappointing, really. No doubt we'll still get the bitter cold over the weekend, without even having received the snow to make it worthwhile.

I noticed one interesting aspect of the snow today, though. We use a Rubbermaid wheelbarrow for lots of chores around here. If you aren't familiar with those, they have two large wheels on the sides, like a wheelchair, rather than a single fat but small diameter wheel at the front. They are easier to push with a heavy load and less likely to tip accidentally, but also more difficult to steer than the more traditional single wheel design.

Since the first snows three or four weeks ago, we've been developing packed trails where the wheelbarrow goes every day. When the snow melts and refreezes, these ruts develop something of the character of railroad tracks. You can't easily change your route, and are more or less limited to the paths already laid out for you. We have "tracks" all over, but when you look at them, they have "switches" and "wyes" and "diamonds" just like a rail yard. Since there is only one wheelbarrow, no traffic control is required. However, derailment is in fact possible, and with a heavy load, one must necessarily exercise some caution. Once derailed, getting back onto the track without spilling the load is quite an energy-consuming task.

Oh, and the knitted "horseshoe" hat is completed. I'm thinking about knitting some stuffed animal dolls next. I saw a design for an anthro sheep yesterday that could easily be improved a bit and would look quite cute.

More snow?

Jan. 5th, 2010 10:29 pm
altivo: Wet Altivo (wet altivo)
OK, if the latest forecast is correct, we are well on our way to challenge the record-breaking snow of the last two winters. Winter storm watch announced this afternoon is up to another possible nine inches to fall Wednesday through Thursday. High ice to liquid water ratio, because the air temperature will be low. In other words, more dry powder that drifts easily. Gary is rescheduling his trip to Chicago for tomorrow rather than letting it wait until Thursday.

Car went in for 30K service today, turned out to cost more than just an oil change, but I expected that. It was about due to generate a service bill, since it really hasn't before except for a tire replacement two years ago after getting an unpatchable flat. As such it wasn't bad, just $168, and that included fixing a slow leak in another tire as well as a power steering flush and a new fuel filter. The oil change was free this time.

Making progress on that knitted lace cap. By the third repeat of the pattern I've got it down now so I don't need a chart or notes. But it requires paying careful attention all the time, which isn't so much fun in my opinion. I prefer mindless knitting that lets me listen to audiobooks or music.

Off to bed now.

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