Thursday, October 23, 2008

Voting in Texas

We have a great college student working for us. He started working for us when he was a senior in high school. He is really a responsible person and very trustable employee. We are blessed.

Well, today he went to vote. You see we have what is called "early voting" in Texas. I'll explain it below. Back to the story. He was so excited to do his part, as a 19 year old. :) It was his first time to vote for president. He was so excited about voting, that the workers gave him 2 "I voted stickers" that he peeled off and put on his shirt. Someone at the store mentioned about the fact that he had voted. He proudly stood there and said, "Yep, I voted twice and they gave me a sticker for each time." The customer actually believed him and said, How did you do that? He came clean and said he was teasing, they had just given him two stickers. :)

When I left there this afternoon, he was still pulling that joke on others, but none were as gullible as the first one.

OK, so all of you non-Texans are wondering, "What is Early voting????" It started years ago and personally, I think it is a great idea. Starting 3 weeks before election day, our polls open. They open for limited hours during the next 2 weeks. Then they close for a week, while everything is re-done for election day. Then the polls open for election day on election day.

Having early voting gives those who work long hours, or travel for work, or travel for enjoyment, etc, to vote during those times. Also, it gives everyone else the chance to vote early. Therefore, we can go at our convenience, we don't wait in long lines on election day and you don't have to miss a class or work etc.

Oh, and absolutely no results are given on the voting calculations, until after the polls close on election night. So, no races are hampered in that respect.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's Felted

My Terrific Tote is finished. This makes such a great project bag, with a circle bottom that is flat.

I know that there is a controversy about knitting projects that are washed being called felted or fulled. A long time ago, I read in Interweave Knits magazine, that if you still see the stitch definition it should be called fulled and if you don't see the stitches it can be called felted. That author made a lot of sense to me. So, I am saying that the tote is felted. If you want it called fulled, that is OK with me, just know that the stitches don't show.

The Malabrigo yarn in this tote, felted up wonderfully and quickly! It was a joy to work with, like the Ashford Tekapo in the original ones that I did, when I was writing the pattern. The pattern for this tote can be found here. This is the link to where it is listed on my etsy site. If you happen to click on the link and the pattern is sold, email me and let me know. I can and will relist it for you.

We are still having gorgeous weather. We don't have a lot of gorgeous weather in TX, so when we do, I keep talking about it. :) Windows are open, it is fairly dry humidity wise, and a breeze is blowing in through the windows. Now tomorrow, is a different story. We are expecting a cold front, and so, the windows will probably close for a few days. The leaves may even start falling from the trees. Maybe I will see some fall colors, who knows.

I am in shock! I went to purchase gas today. I usually get it at Sam's Club. The price was $2.39. Wow! Who would've ever thought that the price would fall that much. I sure am glad it did. But, I do wonder how long it will last.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Knitting Project at Last!

I have been knitting lots, but haven't been very good about updating my blog. One project that I have been working on is my Terrific Tote pattern.
Sherry at Delightful Hands in Celina TX, has asked me to do this for a shop sample, so I said OK. She sent me some wonderful Malabrigo yarn and I went to work. After a couple of weeks, of knitting at night, while working during the day, here is the bag. I have it hanging on the dining room chair so that you can see the size of the thing. It really is an easy knit, and felts into a great size tote for your knitting.

Here we are with the felted and still wet, but drying look. Mind you this is a gorgeous purple color and the Malabrigo yarn felted up like a gem! My pattern was originally done with the Ashford Tekapo yarn, which felts up great too. But, I try to write versatile patterns, so you can use the yarn you can afford or find.

Life had changed for me a little bit. I am working outside the home about 25 hours a week. I am blessed to be able to do this and to still be able to go to my spinning group on Wednesdays. You know, when you have met with these gals for years and years, you become a support group for one another. I love meeting with them and sharing ideas and solving all of the world's problems. (or so we think we do anyway) :)

My garden is growing, even though we haven't had much rain. I did finally wise up and get a soaker hose for it. You know, it looks like a looooonnnnngggg black snake. ug. I have had some episodes this summer with a water moccasin, a copperhead and a rat snake. Nothing like living near a pond, in the woods in northern TX. It is a recipe for snakes. The great thing is that I didn't get bit, AND, I now know that I have what it takes to take charge and dispose of snakes. OH, the rat snake was allowed to live, once I was sure it wasn't a rattler. Heehee! It did try to tell me, by not rattling its tail, but I was stubborn and spent hours doing an internet search. Needless to say, I was relieved to find out he just want rodents, and he can have all he wants as long as he leaves me alone!

Oh yea, back to the garden. The zucchini plants have flowers and the beets are growing quickly. The chives, broccoli, cauliflower and pumpkin are all still growing. I am hoping they can produce their vegetables before our first freeze. I have never had a fall garden before. Actually, I have really never had a successful garden in TX before. Just getting the plants to stay alive is a great success for me.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Shawl Patterns

Every once in a while, I have an idea for a pattern and the idea is an absolute challenge to complete. One of these ideas, is the Take 2 Shawl pattern. I started out making it a challenge to myself to see what I could do with about 128 yards of handspun bamboo yarn. I didn't take very good notes during this process, because, well I don't know why, I just didn't. But, when my spinning friends saw the shawl in person, they were sooooo excited with the design. So, I said, "Oh, sure, no problem. I will type it up." Hahaha. :)
When I started typing, I realized that I had taken horrible notes and basically started over again. The group was patient and waited nicely, as I struggled through the mess of notes. Finally, I had the pattern ready to go and off it went to my test knitters, while I made a third one. The test knitters had great suggestions for me, which I really do appreciate. However, one of the suggestions that kept coming up was, we need a longer one. So, finally, I listened to that suggestion(after I had heard it about 100 times) and Take 2 now has a longer version added to the pattern.

Two of my spinner friends, Kate and Cindy, offered to test knit this pattern. One of the test knits, done by Kate, is pictured here. Her shawl is the one with the pink shirt. The other shawl, Cindy's, isn't on here. I hope to get a picture of Cindy's and put it up. I have done the others that you see.
This bottom picture is the longer version of the Take 2.
The shorter version of the Take 2 uses 160 yards of worsted weight yarn and the longer version uses 436 yards. Just so you know.
This pattern can be found at
By the way, thanks
Rebekah, for helping me with the directions for placing a link on here.