Thursday, October 25, 2007

Autumn Sunset

I was on my way to Mary J's on Tuesday evening, for our weekly quilt get together, and this was the sky as I headed West. I didn't make much of an effort to frame the picture . . . just pulled the camera out of my purse and shot. The sky was a constant color show as the sun was setting.

Tomorrow, I'm heading to Wisconsin for the memorial service for my cousin, Woody. He has been battling emphysema for some time. He's suffered so long, it's almost not a sad thing. Woody embraced our Indian heritage, and had become active in the Brotherton nation. I'm curious to know if some of those ceremonies will be part of the memorial. About a year ago, he got all the cousins together, and explained some traditions to us. Woody was a classic curmudgeon. He could always locate the negative. He made Don Quixote look like an amateur. Once, he was disgusted with the manufacturers of dishwashing soap, but I don't know what the issue was. To protest, he refused to let his wife wash his coffee cup, and it turned dark brown from the tannic acid in the coffee. It always seemed that his protests ended up punishing him more than anyone else. You had to laugh. I got tickled at him once when he was explaining to me that Darwin was wrong . . . not on a religious level, but he said the weak tend to eliminate themselves . . . and I said, "leaving the fit to survive". Once we took off on an all day adventure to visit our grandmother's farm, now owned by a cousin. The house was almost hidden behind trees and shrubbery, including some wild red raspberries. Kids and vandals had broken into the house, and strewn things around on the first floor, but upstairs, everything was just the way my Aunt Edith left it when she passed away. All her clothing was still hanging in the closets. We snooped aroung there for a bit, and then headed to the Stockbridge Reservation to see a basket woven by my great-great grandfather, on display in a glass case there. Unfortunately, they were closed that day, so we could only peek through the windows. Back into the car, and somehow or another, we got to singing with the radio. Woody had a wonderful voice, and had spent many years in a barbershop group. So, he was singing the bass part and I was singing harmony with the radio. It was great fun. Music rather runs in the family, since his father was a musician, and my mother was one of the singers with his bands in the late 30's and into the 40's. They were brother and sister.
Less than two weeks until we head for Tampa and a week at Melanie's house. We had to stay an extra day to qualify for the discount tickets. What a sacrifice! We'll muddle through!
Back to my sock knitting . . . I've finished number 27 in the 52 pair plunge. I've got second sock syndrome on a current pair . . . the first is finished. I think th pattern is just so boring, that's the problem. I like the feel of the yarn, and the way the first sock finished. I bet that's the last time I finish a sock, and don't immediately cast on the second one . . . or knit them simultaneously!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Busy . . . busy!

Wow! Lots of interesting and exciting things happened in the last two weeks. First, I finished and sent off my Monkey Swap items. My pal has a little boy, so I sent a couple things for him, too. He just had to have a copy of "Five Little Monkeys", don't you think? One of the things I included was a Sock Needle Book made with Moda's Funky Monkey fabrics. I had a great time putting that together. I have another concept running around in my head. You can just barely see the stitch markers pinned to the white fabric portion of the needle book. It has a vinyl pocket and zippered pocket on the left side, and narrow slots for double pointed needles on the right side. Timtex is a very stiff interfacing product used in hats, and fabric bowls, and it provided the stability necessary, and made it completely washable, too.

My up-stream partner, Jessica sent a Monkey Swap package that arrived on my birthday. Here's a picture of the "bounty". The socks are PERFECT!! I think the Monkey change purse needs to go on my upcoming Florida vacation. My hands are just itching to knit with that yummy Cider Moon yarn in the Banana Cabana colorway. Jessica was busy with the Moda fabrics, too.

My DH was working at an auction on Saturday, the 6th, so I took off with some "quilt bandits", as he calls them, for Madison, Indiana. It's right on the Ohio, and is a neat old river town. I've been there several times, but never knew I was missing a quilt shop, Margie's Country Store. I won't miss it again! There's another business called, "The Fabric Shop", and it's almost like a time machine. They have some vintage fabrics, but I did find some superwash sock yarn there, too. We had lunch at the Red Pepper . . . love their chicken salad . . . and dinner in the diner. I chose the meatloaf sandwich special that was outstanding; nice, and moist, with cheddar cheese on a marbled rye. Making my own mouth water as I remember it! We also caught a wine tasting at Lanthier Winery overlooking the river. Their wines are mostly of the sweet variety, which suits my palate to a "t". Tasting three wines was plenty for me. I always say I used to go to nickel beer night, and take a dime, but I don't have that kind of tolerance any more!
This past Saturday, DH and I got up and going to attend the 40th Annual Feast of the Hunter's Moon along the Wabash River, near the site of the 18th century French Fort Quiatenon (We-at-ten-on). We always say, they don't call it "the Feast" for nothing. The way to taste more items is to share, so we had a cider-basted grilled pork chop that was seasoned to perfection, and had very little waste. Then, there was a buffalo burger - less cholesterol than beef, a baked apple, and one of my favorites, "Noodle-ables" which is carrots, broccoli, onions, cabbage, cauliflower, and egg noodles in a dill sauce, all cooked over open fires. We never miss the opportunity to have a "Croquinole", which is an 18th century donut. It's easy to find their booth . . . it's near the police station . . . coincidence?
Three weeks from this moment, I'll probably be gasping for breath, laughing with my friends on our annual Florida excursion. We had to dig down and force ourselves to spend an extra day so that we could qualify for a bargain priced airline ticket. We'll muddle through . . . I'll post some pictures of those festivities, for sure!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Busy, busy . . .

Time sure does get away from one. Since my last post, three pairs of socks, and a pair of mittens donated to the Prophetstown State Park Barn Dance and Auction sold for . . . are you ready . . . $45 a pair! I was elated! That brought a request for a pair or two of socks for the YWCA Holiday Luncheon on November 2. So, I have a pair in a zigzag stitch in dark persimmon superwash wool, a Y theme color, on the needles. Next pair will be a plain ribbed pair, but in a superwash wool that has the fair-isle look; color is lavender, grey and white.

I finished my Monkey swap socks over the weekend, and have been busy getting my Monkey "accessories" ready. My partner has a toddler, so I collected a copy of Five Little Monkeys (jumping on the bed), a travel pillow with a pillowcase I made with Moda's Monkey fabric, and fleece cuddle blanket that has cute little monkeys all over it. I just fringed that. The back-ground is pink, but the monkeys are so cute, I couldn't resist it. My knitting pal is getting some Trekking Pro-Natura (a bamboo and wool blend that is very soft), a pair of Monkey socks, in a purple self-striping merino wool, a needle book for her double pointed needles that I made with the Moda fabrics, and some bamboo needles. Saturday, I found some monkey charms, so I made some stitch markers, too. I purchased a new Cookie A pattern, and since she said she didn't have any of the others, I printed out all the free ones in color. Then, I was tidying up my sock patterns, and chose some other freebies to send. I put all the patterns in a brief cover. I'm intending to "put it on the bus" no later than Friday.

Only five weeks until the Florida trip. There will be 8 of us this year. I'm not too worried about the clothes I will take, but I keep changing my mind on the projects to be taken along. Since we are flying, they will be limited. I think an applique block from my quilting, and the continuing quest in sock-knitting will be the limit. Then, a couple paperbacks I want to read!

Pictures next post, I promise!