Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Travel Tale, or An Adventure in Attending a Funeral

Travel Tale:

We left Indy around 2pm. There were light flurries and the temp was dropping. Somewhere near Lieber State recreational area, the skies cleared off and we got to see wild turkeys in some open fields. Really neat!

The weather started to turn when we got close to Terre Haute
After we crossed the Illinois state line, things got really interesting with lots of white outs, less traffic and we saw two semi's on the shoulder of the road, one of which had been rear-ended.

The state police closed I70 at IL route 130 in Greenup
We were routed onto US 40 and got to travel a new (for us) section of the National Road. We saw a nice little fair grounds, a covered bridge, some cool older homes and lots of little towns. There were volunteer fire fighters and various town constables at some cross roads, directing traffic so that we stayed on route 40.

Teutopolis, IL is where we got to sit for two hours. This village boasts a high school, a very pretty Catholic church (St. Francis of Assisi) a used car lot, some bars (closed due to weather) a variety of stores and two gas stations. Eventually, we got to the edge of town and found a small yet steep hill with a jack-knifed semi blocking it. Since there was a corn field with an access road right next to us and we needed a pit stop, D turned the truck and round and we went to the Marathon station. We all took a restroom break. Georgie-girl got to stroll around the parking lot (the wind was really bad) and since the Subway sandwich part of the station was closed, we got back in the truck and moved over to the Casey's General Store. They had fresh made pizza by the slice. It was hot, so it was good.

After sitting for 2.5 hours, talking and texting with various people (trying to find an alternate route because we wanted to move somewhere, anywhere), the hill was cleared and traffic started to move. According to the nice people at the general store, the ONLY road into Effingham was route 40. So, we were stuck being in a conga line of traffic that was stopping and starting at random intervals while folks slipped and slid down that untreated hill.

We managed to get back on I70 near the big cross There were some slick spots, some more white outs and lots of wind as we continued west on I 70. Near Vandalia, IL the weather started to settle down. It was still windy, but there was not as much blowing and drifting snow.

We continued on to Collingswood erm, Collingdale OK, I was really tired and couldn't say the name of our destination right after 6 hours in a truck. We took the first exit for Collinsville, and called to the hotel. Found out we needed to get back on the interstate and go to the next Collinsville exit. Arrived at the Motomart near the hotel and got some bottled water so I could take my meds. Checked in at hotel where Georgie-girl was greeted with enthusiasm and we were given a special hang tag for our room door to let the staff know there was a dog in residence. (extra coolness!) I took my meds, we visited with friends, then hubby went in search of food with friends while the pooch and I lounged on a bed, looking over a knitting book because I really needed to decompress and had zero desire to get back into a car or truck.

We sat up visiting, (holding a wake) until 1am which is when folks decided sleep was in order since we needed to be at the funeral home later that morning. Had a decent night's sleep, got up and enjoyed a huge bowl of oatmeal with strawberries and a glass of cranberry juice. Helped hubby eat his hash browns and a slice of bacon. Then it was time to get dressed up and head over to the funeral home.

The visitation time was nice. We got to meet up with Gene's family and they are very sweet folks. The service had a message of remembering to celebrate our friend's life. It was short and sweet. Then came the drive to Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery. This place is large and very busy. The graveside ceremony was brief and chilly. The funeral home brought along stadium blankets to put on the benches and over the knees of the family.

Georgie-girl was not happy about the salute. She's not a fan of firearms. I petted her and said whoa each time I heard the slide of a round being jacked into place. She pressed back against my legs and against Gene's cousin (who I was sitting next to). The bugler played taps, then the service was over.

We had another hour long drive back into town where we stopped at a friend's house for supper and around 7:30pm, hubby and I returned to the hotel to change into travel clothing, load our stuff and get back on the interstate to head home.

The roads were clear, dry and there was little to no sign of the bad weather until we got to the stretch that had been closed down. 9 semi's were off the road. One was on it's side in the median and one had rolled over. Once we were east of Greenup, IL, there were no more trucks off the road. We made it back to Indy around 11pm and unloaded our stuff. The pooch was very happy to be home and the cats were happy to see us.

Friday, October 29, 2010

This Hat Which is Completed

I did it, I finally got the hat down to normal hat size. There was great rejoicing at this achievement.

It sits a little high in this photo because of my hair clip. There is enough room to wear the hat with my hair pinned up, yet it is snug enough to not blow off if my hair is down.

Knit in the round on US size 9 needles with Fritisgarn wool. This is a bulky yarn from Iceland (I think the band is in Icelandic) and it knits up very nicely. The yarn does make a solid material when felted that has enough play in it to allow for shaping.


In other news, I'm currently listening to the sounds of rattan being loaded into the truck for tomorrow's Crown Tourney. The shop will be there rain or shine. I'm staying home with the guard pets and doing a bit of baking. The weather has been good for staying indoors and being productive in a warm environment.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wool Sorting

The Sunday after the Corydon Fiber Festival, I was given a surprising offer. My church's organist is a spinner. He had three bags of wool sitting at home not being spun. Did I want it? I said sure. I figured the fleeces can be sorted, cleaned up and used for SCA demos to teach children about spinning.

I was expecting 8 - 15 pound fleeces. Hubby weighed himself while holding two of the bags. I was gifted with two fleeces that weigh approximately 20 pounds. 0.o

and the third bag of wool
exhibit A, two out of three bags full.

Today I popped one of them out of the plastic and sighed.
It should not retain this shape. Carefully unrolling it, I discovered the sheep had not been sheared in one pass. The fleece was in sections. This was not a bad thing since the belly wool with most of the debris was one section, the sides were two more sections and the back was a final section.

I found two bits of hoof paring in the fleece.
hoof paring
this one was the larger of the two.

As you can see, I had expert supervision. Miss Priss, diva kitty of the universe, had a good time sniffing at the wool, rubbing her cheeks on it and finally trying to prevent me from taking it away from her.
textile helper

Once ownership was settled, (I have the thumbs, I win) she had to check out the stuff that is heading to my compost heap

My final haul from one of the fleeces is pretty impressive.
completely sorted

I'm not looking forward to washing and carding all of this. I may take everything over to a mill and let them do the hard part so I can do the fun part of spinning yarn.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

This Hat Which Needs Felting

Last weekend, I went to the Corydon fiber festival. It's not Rhinebeck by any stretch of the imagination. However, there were some good bargains to be found. I also had nice visits with other textile fanatics.

I had planned on knitting in the car on the way there and back. Alas, I ran around the house like a mad woman looking for the right sized needle the night before and the morning of our trip and had no luck. I took along the yarn and pattern just in case I found the right sized circular needle and found zero circular knitting needles. Oh well. If I'd been knitting I may not have seen the deer, the fall leaves or the neat older homes along the way.

We got home safely and I found the blasted needle. It was hiding in my basket, laughing at me. I cast on red Fristisgarn:
and got to work. I knit a few times during the week. Then today came the big burst of "just another row" followed by, "I can see the end" and the inevitable "why don't you get larger?"

I did eventually have to switch to double points and an hour after that, I had the following:


I am not too sure of the brim. It may need to be a touch wider. Tomorrow this hat will be taking the big plunge into hot water with lots of beating and felting. If all goes well, it will be a person sized hat.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Of Scarves and Bracelets

I finally completed a garter stitch scarf for the superbowl scarf project. It should not have taken so long to work on. I blame my lack of motivation on how hectic life has been. Also I blame it on my short attention span. I only knit on this project while watching Ghost Hunters on Wednesday evenings.

Last night I went to the local library and taught a beginning knitting class to 9 people. Two folks showed up late and didn't get started since the library closed 30 minutes after they arrived. They did make head way in getting yarn from a hank into a ball. Next month I have got to remember to take along my swift and my ball winder. Those tools will speed things up.

I am planning on sending out an email to the students with an invite/reminder for the local knitting group's gathering on the third Wednesday of the month. I think they'll enjoy it and they will also have more time with knitters while they work on their scarves.

Recently some friends and I were chatting about ways to keep small children from wandering off in a crowd. I mentioned the bracelets linked with cord my younger step-daughter and her mother would wear. This system was made up because the younger child showed signs of being the second coming of Houdini.

There are two bracelets made from ribbon and attached to each other with a sturdy cord. I made the above as a present for one of the ladies in chat night after she requested a set.


I'm still fighting the major depression. It's been a rough season. One daughter was rear ended and is fine. We're now shopping for a replacement car for her. The other daughter's vehicle needed serious repairs due to parts wearing out, our water heater was feeling neglected and sprung a leak. That's been replaced.
To top it all off, a friend passed away over the weekend. I'm alternating between numb and celebrating. You have to understand. This lady spent 25 years as a quadriplegic and is no longer stuck in a hospital bed or a wheel chair.

More knitting will be forthcoming. I promise.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Power Outages and Knitting

Sunday morning we were awakened by a loud boom. I honestly thought we were finally going to get rain. The thunder like sound didn't repeat which made me open my eyes to check the time. My clock was dark. That motivated me to sit up and look out the window to the south.

It was still dark outside, and the traffic light a block away didn't appear to be working. There were however sparks. Lots of sparks from a downed power line and blinking red lights from emergency crews. Someone hit a pole and took down the power lines. No one was hurt. Four hours later, we had electricity and water. The perils of having a well include not having water when the power goes out. This accident made me realize it was approaching the time of year to start keeping jugs of water in the house.

The rational part of me was very glad to find out no one was hurt. The irrational part of my brain went into full parent mode. I spent Sunday alternating between wanting to smack someone for texting while driving and wanting to shake them for endangering themselves and others. I also wanted to celebrate their not being killed.

I'm in a better mental place than I was with my last entry. As you can see by the way I bounce around I am not fully recovered.
Since this blog is supposed to be about needle work and pets, I bring you a poncho.

This one was knit on US size 13 needles using a boucle yarn. I wanted to play with color and texture so I knit a section, joined the garment in a circle and knit more then bound off and cast on in a different direction for the bottom. I'm rather pleased with the way the yarn's colors played out as I worked.

I have also been working on a scarf for when this city hosts the Super Bowl. Since I'm not using the "official" yarn, the scarf I'm making is for a friend who plans on being a volunteer at the big game in 2012. Pictures of blue and white alpaca next time. I promise.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


I have a head cold. This morning I discovered I was nearly out of decongestant and took a trip to the pharmacy. When I left the store, I discovered a flock of Turkey Vultures, known locally as buzzards, roosting on the building to the south of the pharmacy.
This made me pause and wonder if it was nature's way of saying I was going to be dealing with this head cold for a long time.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

needlework and other things

I have a fondness for fine needlework and a friend recently pointed me to Chef Tiger's Kitchen which is doing a give away. The needlework set/box has very pretty accessories in it.

I'm making a second cozy for the vigil light at church. This one is in liturgical red. For those who haven't see my post about the purple one I made, the base for our vigil light is very large and ornate. There are certain times of year when covering it is desired by our current priest. Some of us in the parish think covering the base year round is a desirable thing.

For those of you who live in the United States of America and are fans of Avon products, they are having a sale on lip gloss. Each Glazewear purchase comes with the opportunity to win a 2010 chevy. Check with your favorite independent AVON sales representative, or visit my little store for more details.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

On the Road Again

I'm not, neither are the critters. Our rattan business however, will be in Perrysburg, Ohio this weekend at an SCA event. We're hoping to make lots of fighters happy with our current selection of rattan. There is more stock on order. It has not arrived as of this evening. The thought has occurred to us that we will get the call saying it is at the local Yellow Freight hub about the time our rig is in northern Indiana.

In other news, the Fibro has settled down and my inner voice is no longer shrieking like Miracle Max's wife. I have passed the pre-screening for a study. Fibromyalgia patients who qualify will be sorted into two groups, one group will receive savella, the other will be receiving a placebo. I don't care which one I end up in. I'm just tickled I can help others by participating. The more doctors can learn about this disease, the better the odds of them finding a cure.

I am working on a few knitting projects. No photos to show off at present. I completed a prayer shawl last night and need to package it for shipping. I plan on working on hubby's socks next followed by finishing up my wimple. I want to stick with some short and easy projects for this month before I begin making baby things for various friends.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Went to the Animal Fair

Actually I went to the Fiber Event in Greencastle, Indiana. It was a very nice sunny day which made wandering through buildings at the Putnam county fairgrounds enjoyable. Lots of lovely yarns to fondle, pretty fleeces to covet and some spinning wheels that were works of art.

I had a good time. I was frugal. I came away with a small project bag, three skeins of yarn and a toy for the younger daughter. I thought she'd be amused by a dog made out of hot glue. I was right.

Today was a meet and greet at City Dog Grocery in Broad Ripple Village. It was very nice to take the pooch to meet up with bulldogs, assorted other pure breed dogs, more bulldogs and lovable mutts. Lots of tail wagging and puppy cuddling going on. I hope the fund raiser/raffle for the local English Bull Dog Rescue does well.

The pooch and I stopped at a local cemetery on the way home. It's a nice place to walk and relax after being in a large gathering. She's a hound mix so getting to sniff and stretch her legs is a very good thing.

Hubby is at an SCA event in Ohio. We're hoping he does well selling rattan there. It would be nice to have a bit more income since our roof decided to leak yet again.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Home Again, Home Again

We traveled to Lumberton, Mississippi the other week and camped at King's Arrow Ranch. This was for our hobby, the S.C.A. While attending Gulf Wars XX, I taught a class on darning and other mending and two classes on basic hand sewing.

The weather was clear, cool and almost ideal for camping. It did get a touch cold at night. We packed down on Saturday and managed to leave the camp before predicted rain arrived and missed out on the snow. Yes, it apparently snowed in southern Mississippi.

While on the road, I did a small amount of knitting.
This is another wimple. I plan on keeping this for myself. I have a few small trade silver charms I want to work into the lace border.

I also have a sock on my needles. It's the second of a pair and I sincerely hope to complete it by next weekend.

One other accomplishment from this trip
I learned I no longer should climb on furniture to lower the seven foot tall tent walls. There are some things even the best trained dog cannot prevent from happening.


We're home now. It's warmer here and I have flowers in bloom. Our next events might be the Greencastle Fiber Fair, Feast of Three Saints in Rivenstar, and Baron Wars in Perrysburg, Ohio.
Note the key word: might.