Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu and Sock Machines

Wow! Who would've thought that we would be having to educate ourselves about the Swine flu?? Today life in the state of Texas has been interesting, to say the least.

Several schools are closed in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area. Some of them have children who definitely have Swine Flu and some have children who have been tested. The schools are not just closed for one day, but are closed from today, April 29, until May 11. School activities are being cancelled too.
One small town, south of Fort Worth, is actually shutting down its schools and daycare facilities. They have also cancelled many city activities and sports games. They have 3 cases.

Many of you, who venture to my blog, know that we have two FABULOUS daughters. :) One of them works in the health industry and sent out some links for us. Here is one that has some good common sense info, should you be interested. The link.
Have you ever seen a sock machine? Here are two antique sock machines! They are not mine. But, they belong to friends of mine. These machines are becoming more and more popular and more and more valuable. This is the way that socks used to be mass produced AND now some people are mass producing socks for themselves and for sale using these machines. I find the sock machines truly intriguing. They do take some practice in getting used to them, but once you get it down, the socks take a fraction of the time compared to handknitting a pair. The red one, doesn't have a sock on it, but you can see the hooks that go around the outer circumference. Notice the crank to the right? As you turn the crank, the needles will go up and down and the yarn will go around and be knit by the needles.

Do I want one? No, not really. I just like to watch them and find them fascinating. I still prefer to knit my socks, the really old fashioned way. By hand. :)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Look What I Found in the Pool! and some knitting, too

This morning, The UPS man and I were out looking at the pool. I had just checked the water temperature and he was working on the equipment and mechanical aspects. I was thinking of swimming and he was thinking gears, motors, blah, blah, blah. All that man stuff. Anyway, after I went back to work last fall, he was gracious and decided to help me with some of the chores and took over the pool. That has been a blessing. Since I was out there, with him, this morning I thought, I'll help him and empty the skimmer. If you don't know what a skimmer is, it is a basket, set into the return for the water, before it goes back to the pumps and big filter in the back. Leaves, branches, dirt, and critters will get caught there. They tell you to be prepared for anything, when you open the lid. Well, I wasn't thinking about the warnings today when I opened the lid. I should have been. After all, I am the one who has found frogs, frogs and more frogs in that thing. I have found the copperhead snake in there last summer. Talk about freaking out, but that is another story. Well, today, I opened the lid and jumped back as a TURTLE popped his little head up at me. Geesh! You know, we have a lake, not more than 30 feet from the pool and they come up the hill and go for the CHLORINE!! Crazy if you ask me. All I ask of them, is that they stay at their water and I will stay at my water. LOL! No, they think my water is just as good, but soon they find out, that I don't have a beach front like they do and by then it is too late. Well, this little turtle, was still alive. Thankfully, the UPS man was right there and rescued me from having to rescue the turtle. Oh, yes, that is a kitchen strainer that the turtle is in. You see, you also learn to turn ordinary household and kitchen tools into pool tools. This one has its personal hanger on the fence behind the pool skimmer, ready for such emergencies. After the rescue the poor turtle was placed in the leaves to rest for a few minutes, I imagine if turtles get dizzy, he was quite dizzy after spinning around in the skimmer, for who knows how long. He also had been fighting quite an under tow, since he was fighting the suction of the pump to pull him in. The UPS man then went down and placed him on the net and carried him back to the lake. He is back on his side of the water now, and we are on ours.

Knitting!!! Yes, I have been knitting. Yesterday, I started a new project. I had a new idea for a hat pattern, it sort of worked, but when it was finished, it would've fit a giant black bear. So, it was ripped out and started again. I am working on a pattern for a felted bag. I actually made the bag years ago and never wrote the pattern, so it is now being written. Also, I am working on a couple of other patterns too. Stay tuned, they will emerge eventually. It just takes a while, to get it all done correctly. You know, I knit a hat yesterday and today the hat is gone. That is how it goes. Today, I will knit it again.
I do follow other peoples patterns too. It is fun to just sit down and knit, without figuring out all the steps and knowing that someone else has done the prototypes and ripping. When we were in Austin TX, last summer, I went yarn shopping. Both of our hosts down there know that I love to knit. So, off I went, with Judy when we were at their home and then with Clyda when were at their home. With Clyda, I found some Noro yarn and a cute pattern for a mitered bag. The finished size of the bag is about 6 inches square. It was fun to make. I found the pattern at the Bluebonnet Yarn Shoppe . The pattern is written by, Jennie Might.

before felting
after felting

Friday, April 24, 2009

Earth Day Moon

Jeff leaves pretty early in the morning for work. As he left, my cell phone started ringing and it was him. He wanted to tell me how pretty the sunrise was. You see, the sun was just rising and starting to light up the sky.

Outside I went, with camera in hand, and this is what I saw. I am thinking, with the little research that I did, that this is the moon(a given) and Venus. Because of the trees, I didn't see any other planet or star. Apparently, Mars and Jupiter could be seen at certain times, too .
What I really like about this, is that you can see the rest of the moon, if you look closely.
The sky was this gorgeous blue color too. Which just made my day! I love blue!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I have been slowly taking pictures of spinning rovings, as well as knitting and spinning tools, to put in my etsy shop. I don't want to list things too quickly in there, but I need to keep going and steadily list my new items. I have a lot of rovings here, that I need to put in there and quite a few tools for knitting and spinning.

Yesterday, I was trying to get some good pictures of a Raspberry colored roving. It is a gorgeous deep, dark rich pink. But, in trying to capture it, the camera always lightened it. Even without the flash, which I wasn't using. One of the best things for true color is the natural sunlight. So, I had put the basket of fiber in a south window, then a west window, then under the skylight, then in the shadow under the skylight. Finally, I took it upstairs, and put it in the window next to my computer. This is an east window. I had to take down the curtain for this too, it was a major production. However, I FINALLY met with success and was able to list the roving with some great pictures. The first picture that I took in my office window, is this one, it too, is too light. But, to me it is such a gorgeous picture. You almost have the illusion that the roving and basket are flying.
All my efforts were worth it, the fiber has sold already. :)

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Wow! The state of Texas is dry. We haven't had very much rain this winter and our lakes are very low. Then if that hasn't been enough we have had some really WINDY days. This past Thursday the wind was unbelievable with gusts about 40mph+. We were under a red flag warning, which means, fire danger.

In the middle of the afternoon, it started smelling like someone was burning a wood stove.
Remembering the weather report, from that morning, I turned on the TV to see if there was a fire and where. It smelled so strong in my house, that I thought it probably was not that far away. Turns out the fire was far away and there were actually 3 or 4 of them. They were all about 100 miles west of our home. The winds were fueling the fires. Several small towns were being evacuated and one town was burning. I watched the TV in horror as people's homes were burning to the ground. The towns fire departments were working very hard. Citizens were determined and were helping. They had garden hoses hooked up and were spraying water on the flames and houses.

Many towns around sent engines, as well as, Dallas and Fort Worth.

I looked outside and was surprised still, to see the smoke and ashes in the yard. It was so windy. I decided to take a few pictures and see if the camera would catch it.
As you look at the top two pictures, the trees in the background look fuzzy. That isn't fuzz. It is smoke.
In the second picture, near the bottom is a pond, my house is on a hill that leads down there, but looking across to the other side is where you can notice the smoke.
The bottom picture is the sunset and what the firey sun was doing to the smoke etc in the sky.
Today the fires are under control, if not out. The wind has settled down to a breeze. We are expecting rain and thunderstorms tonight.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Knitting during rough times

Many of you know that I have a shop on etsy, called Terrific Creations. Well, I am on a team there, called the etsy knitters team. One of our wonderful leaders is a Dane, living in Italy. Her daughter was close enough to feel some tremors of that awful earthquake earlier this week and apparently now, my knitter friend has felt some tremors herself. She sent this link for an article. I clipped out a portion of the article that interested me the most, and it is below. Of course, it is about knitting AND an 98 year old lady.

Another of those rescued today was Maria D’Antuono, 98, who said that she had spent 30 hours knitting as she waited to be freed from her ruined home. "I worked, I knitted," said Mrs D'Antuono, from the village of Tempera, close to L'Aquila. The redoubtable nonagenarian told rescuers that she was in good health when she was found this morning, according to Sky TG24.

My thoughts and prayers are with the people over there and they have lost so much.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fire Ants

Well, with that title, my family will cringe. No, I didn't get any fire ant bites, just so you know. (They are a real difficulty with my system). Anyway, on Saturday, 4/4, I went to Home Depot to get some plants and good stuff for the dirt. We have a clay soil here, actually we have a copper brown, rocky clay, soil here. It is a REAL treat to work with, I am being very sarcastic. Back to the Home Depot. When I drove up to the store, I sat there wishing I had a camera phone so that I could take a picture. In front of the store was a giant blow up fire ant! No kidding. When I say giant, I mean taller than the store giant. It was put there by Ortho Max, fire ant killer. Well, I purchased my items and left, still kicking myself that I don't take my camera with me to get pics like that. I miss so many opportunities. So, I thought, you know, I can come by here on Sunday and get a picture then. So, early on Sunday morning, we drove by with my camera, and no fire ant. I am not sure if the high winds that we were having, kept the store from blowing up the unsightly creature, or maybe it scared some children away on Saturday, so they took it down. OR maybe it moved to another unsuspecting community. Be on the watch, the giant fire ant blow up balloon may be coming to a Home Depot near you. Oh, I passed a second Home Depot on the way to work today, and they don't have it either......... and I had my camera.......
Now onto a cuter topic. I have been knitting some bunnies. Aren't they cute? I purchased the pattern from a gal on etsy. They are called Patchwork Bunnies. Each one has 5 different colors and they have unique personalities. My granddaughters will get the pleasure of naming them, since they will be caring for them now.