Sunday, December 28, 2008

Victorian Diamond Lace Socks by Susan Lawrence

I tried to do this last year but well failed because I lost the first finished sock. So this year I attempted it again.At the end of the year, I knit a pair of socks that I will wear on new years eve and into new years day. While knitting it I think about what I have done the past year, ask forgiveness for those I may have hurt or harmed through thought or action, I focus on new goals for the coming year, not only knitting but personal and/or professional. It reminds me somewhat of grandmother making prayer ties.
The pattern was originally available through knit picks. It’s my attempt at lace yes there are mistakes in it, but they are going on my feet, no one is going to see them under my pants and the only person that close to my feet is my husband when he’s massaging them.The only change to the pattern I made was to carry the yarn over down the foot until the toes. The yarn is Louet Gems . The color is called cloud, it’s mainly gray but in certain lights it has a slight purple tint to it.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dye Day

I have been toying with the idea of growing a pomegranate tree one because I am one of the strange people that love eating the fruit and second, I thought it could be potentially a great source of natural dye. I read several places that only the skin is used for dye and not the seeds. I could not find a reason why the seeds were not being used since the juice on the seeds dyes everything it touches. Not finding a reason I have decided to try to dye with both the skin and the seeds. I am boiling the skin for about an hour. I have taken the fruit/seeds and put them in a pot on the stove on simmer. My thinking hopefully the juice will come out of the fruit and I can try to dye with it. There may not be enough from 2 pomegranates but it's worth a try. I'll update later.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

10 Rules for Thanksgiving dinner at my house

I may have a warped sense of humor but I found these entertaining.

1. Don't get in line asking questions about the food. "Who made the potato salad? Is there egg in it? Are the greens fresh? Is the meat in the greens turkey or pork? Who made the macaroni and cheese? What kind of pie is that? Who made it? Ask one more question and I will punch you in your mouth, knocking out all your front teeth so you will not be able to eat anything.
2. If you can't walk or are missing any limbs, sit your ass down until someone makes your plate for you. Dinner time is not the time for you to be independent. Nibble on them damn pecans and walnuts to hold you over until someone makes you a plate.
3. If you have kids under the age of twelve, I will escort their little asses to the basement and bring their food down to them. They are not going to tear my damn house up this year. Tell them that they are not allowed upstairs until it's time for Uncle Butchie to start telling family stories about their mommas and papas.
4. There is going to be one prayer for Thanksgiving dinner! JUST ONE! We do not care that you are thankful that your 13 year old daughter gave birth to a healthy baby or your nephew just got out of jail. Save that talk for somebody who gives a damn. The time limit for the prayer is one minute. If you are still talking after that one minute is up, you will feel something hard come across your lips and they will be swollen for approximately 20 minutes.
5. Finish everything on your plate before you go up for seconds! If you don't, you will be cursed out and asked to stay your greedy ass home next year!
6. BRING YOUR OWN TUPPERWARE!! Don't let me catch you fixing yourself a plate in my good Tupperware knowing damn well that I will never see it again! Furthermore, if you didn't bring anything over, don't let me catch you making a plate period or it will be a misunderstanding.
7. What you came with is what you should leave with!! Do not leave my house with anything that doesn't belong to you. EVERYBODY WILL BE SUBJECTED TO A BODY SEARCH COMING AND GOING OUT OF MY DOMAIN!!!
8. Do not leave your kids so you can go hopping from house to house. This is not a DAY-CARE CENTER ! There will be a kid-parent roll call every ten minutes. Any parent that is not present at the time of roll call, your child will be put outside until you come and get him or her. After 24 hours, I will call DHS on your ignorant ass!!
9. BOOK YOUR HOTEL ROOM BEFORE YOU COME INTO TOWN!! There will be no sleeping over at my house! You are to come and eat dinner and take your ass home or to your hotel room. EVERYBODY GETS KICK THE HELL OUT AT 11:00 pm. You will get a 15 minute warning bell ring.
10. Last but not least! ONE PLATE PER PERSON!! This is not a soup kitchen. I am not trying to feed your family until Christmas dinner! You will be supervised when you fix your plate. Anything over the appropriate amount will be charged to you before you leave. There will be a cash register at the door. Thanks to Cousin Alfred and his greedy ass family, we now have a credit card machine! So VISA and MasterCard are now being accepted. NO FOOD STAMPS OR ACCESS CARDS YET!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Texas in October

Pictures taken in early October 2008 coming back from Del Rio Texas. This is the South Llano River. Despite it being 85 degrees the water was ice cold. No I couldn't resist stepping into it. It does my heart good knowing that there are places left in the world that the water is crystal clear.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What has been on my mind?

When I first started this blog, I just wanted to write about positive things happy memories and not vent my personal feelings out on the infinite vastness of the Internet. But after some soul searching, where else but in a diary can we write about some of our deepest feelings? So without further adieu here is what's been going on.

Since the middle of the summer I have had several things to think about. Several things have been on my mind. Not to my surprise I had something come up that triggered memories of the past. My 33 yr old niece Heidi called to talk to me, she had some news that may or may not change my life. Heidi is the oldest child of my middle sister Lulu. I knew that Heidi has been going through genetic testing for quite some time. She is a very beautiful intelligent woman that I have had the pleasure of knowing since the day she was born. I have watched her grow from being the tiny baby dependant on her mother for everything to the woman she is today. Heidi told me that this last time her test results came back abnormal. Her doctor gave her a few choices put her on a drug for the next five years so that her body could go into an early menopause and then after the five years are up take her off the drug and maybe her body might come out of the temporary menopause or to have a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. My heart sank into the pit of my stomach. I closed my eyes and didn't hear anything instinctively I realized I had stopped breathing, I took a deep breath and focused on breathing. Several thoughts invaded my mind, not Heidi, I could not bear the thought of loosing another to the murderer cancer. I had lost both older sisters. This cycle could not be happening again! I tried to focus in on Heidi's voice 90% of all women who test positive for having the gene that creates breast cancer die, only 10% survive. Scientists don't know why the 10% never get breast cancer. Heidi has opted to have the mastectomy. I almost had a panic attack, all I could hear was pounding in my ears, I took a deep breath and continued to listen to Heidi. OMG to feel that self mutilation of her body would be the only option. I was having a hard time with accepting this but, I could not let my personal feelings in, I could not influence her decision. For me personally it would be no. I would go the route of other treatments perhaps look into oriental herbs etc. But this was Heidi's decision, it was her body, it was her mind that had to accept the choice. All I could do is tell her how I felt but that I would support her in her decision. If she had a chance she had to know that she did the right thing and that there was someone other than her husband that supported her decision. I told Heidi, that for me personally I could not do it, however, the choice was not mine to make it was Heidi's. I told her I supported her decision. I may not agree with it but I would not be an obstacle.

During the next few weeks I was reliving the last year of Lulu's life, memories, sounds, etc came flooding back in. I thought I had dealt with all of this in the past, I thought it was all folded up neatly and tucked away safe in the dresser drawers labeled, breast cancer. I could not help but focus on this, this was weighing heavy on my mind. My loving DH gave me enough space to dwell on it for a weekend and then told me that I couldn't dwell on it . It was his way of trying to protect me and to keep me from hurting. I couldn't turn it off like that there were issues that kept popping back up that needed to be taken care of before I could move on to functioning again.

In the mean time mom's doctor told her to go the hospital because they could not regulate her blood pressure and she was badly dehydrated. For those that don't know Mom has a mechanical heart valve that is failing, in addition she has a regular heart valve that does not work at all. Her legs swell there is fluid in her abdomen and fluid in her lungs. They can draw off the fluid for a bit but it comes back, and it's coming back faster. She was in the hospital for about 10 days. she has been sent home with oxygen to be used as she needs. One doesn't have to be a an MD to know that her condition is getting worse. She has one valve that not working at all, her blood is not getting enough oxygen, diuretics are not working as well as they did, she's getting weaker, she's walking with a quad cane, and now add the oxygen to it, It's another thing to show her condition is getting worse. She says that maybe she will get better again. I a not sure how much longer she will be around. She's not sleeping allot, but she's still eating which means that she isn't ready to leave yet.

So this has been what has been occupying my mind. There are times when I can't pick up my needles, and there are times when I can't put them down.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Finally Knitting picutes

Finally I made time to take pictures of newly finished finished objects. The first on is my surplus lace top from Nashua's North American collection I started it in February and have finally finished it. It took forever for me to finish the lace section of it. I am not very good at lace and maybe I don't have the patience for it. I love the yarn, it is from Elan, Peru Naturtex Partners Pakucho Organic Cotton, the Color is Green Forest. The cotton is so soft I love the way it feels. I am working on the Katlin's Tulip sweater using Dream in color yarn. I have it all knit up and now just to weave in the ends and block it. It is so pretty. I may have to make it for one of my nieces.
I am currently working on a pattern from Fuzzy Mitten. I could take a picture and show you but it's only legs, a body, and arms. More on that later.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A hole in the sky

This was how it this bush looked before The Gator got a hold of it. It has to go its within the 3 ft easement that is needed for the fence. So give a man a gator and the next picture is what you get.

A hole in the sky! There is sunlight on the fish pond now, I'll be able to put another water lily, in next spring. I had to find one that grew in the shade, it was difficult but I found it. I am hoping to see tadpoles soon in the pond. We have toads. Gulf Coast Toads as a matter of fact. Ever hear one croaking or better known as "advertising"?

And here is the hole in the sky. It's amazing how different it looks in the back without the bushes. Once the new fence is in place, we can start visualizing what I am going to plant against the wall. We won't plant until mid to late fall.

This is what one bush looks like after it has been cut down. The last time I saw something like that was after Hurricane Hugo.

I should have some knitting content soon.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Dissasemble #5

Sorry everyone no knitting content this time, we've been busy.

Our neighborhood has formed a PID. Now for those that do not know what a PID is it is a tax entity which can finance, construct and maintain public improvements. What does that mean exactly to us. It means that the butt ugly seven foot tall wooden fence that faces the street will be replaced with an 8 foot tall 4 inch thick concrete fence. In preparation of this event we need to ensure that the fencing company will have a 3 foot clearance to work with once they start putting the fences in, for us that's not a big problem just remove some bushes that I've want to get rid of for a while. Others in the neighborhood have to move sheds, I believe one couple has to move a hot tub and a gazebo. The bushes are photinias they were planted I am assuming by the previous owners. When we moved in they are seven to eight feet tall. They are not about 15 feet or more taller. I have always had a love hate relationship with them. I loved the shade they provided but that's about it. In spring they dropped leaves and then they would have pretty little white flowers but the scent is of cat piss. In the summer they provided great shade, in the fall they would drop leaves again. I have tried for may years to grow plants in the shade under them but the only things that have grown are Gerber Daisey's, a couple of ferns. Oh yes and the English Ivy has finally started to establish itself.

In preparation for the disassembling of the bushes we purchased this sweet little chainsaw called the Black and Decker Gator. "A lonely gator meets an alluring chainsaw. They fall in love, marry and bingo! They make short work of all those pesky tree branches hanging around. The Black & Decker Alligator Lopper is the happy ending to this story. It’s a foolproof, can’t-hurt-yourself, tree-limb devouring tool with a 4.5-amp motor, a heavy-duty cutting bar and innovative clamping jaws (aw, just like his dad) that grab and cut in one easy motion.
I love this thing, first it's electric, second it's super safe, you have to hold both handles down for it to work. If you don't it turns off. It's lighter than a regular chainsaw which means I can use it too.
Here is a photo of Number 1 before it met Mr Gator.
This is the photo of number 1 after it met Mr Gator.

Now all that's left to do is grind the evidence. 1 down 4 more to go before the end of August. We are finding out since we will remove the bushes for the fence company if they could remove the stumps, I believe that they will, just want to make sure.
I know this will give my back yard more sunlight than it has now. I am doing allot of research as to how to landscape the fence once it's put in. Looking at native bushes, grasses perhaps some metal medilians, maybe have a bird bath.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

R.I.P Pine Tree Socks

Some of you may remember The Great Sock Tragedy of 2007 , with great sadness I must announce that the single sock that still remains here with me will be Frogged in the near future. I have exhausted all efforts in looking for the missing sock, I have posted signs offering a reward, I have searched for another skein of the same color and all ends in no. The socks were going to be theory for me, a symbol to be worn on New Years Day. It was going to be a visual symbol of me letting go of the negativity of 2007 and welcoming in of the new year filled with new experiences. I'm not going to get rid of the yarn I'm going to knit it into my sock yarn blanket.

What will happen is that my knitting group Sisters of the Wool aka SOWs, is going to have an UFO R.I.P. Frog Night. Come now Knitters, we all have at least one UFO that has had some tragedy, or we have knitted a part of it and thought What was I thinking?!!! I'll never wear that. Love the pattern hate the yarn. We all have at least one. Maybe I should have a contest,. Something like the best, "Worst UFO that should be Ripped" contest. Stay tuned, who knows what may happen.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


The blue bonnets are out and in full bloom. I have been knitting the Berrylicious Socks, the colorway is Indian Paint Brush. I have finally turned the heel and am now working on the leg I love this part of socks. It means I am in the home stretch. I like the yarn, that pattern is really easy, and the Eye of the Partridge heel, I love it. I am going to have to knit a pair for myself.

I started a sock yarn blanket, of course knowing me I want it big enough to fit a queen size bed. I know this is going to be a long time project, but it's a way to use up some of the left over sock yarn. I have a very tiny section complete. I am not just pulling a color out of the bag I try to at least pull one like color from the surrounding ones. It's not quite planned, but it's not just chaos.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Kidney Stones, and bronchotis, ok enough

Lets see, I found out that once again I had a kidney stone, this time on the left side. They blasted it away in March, and for now I am kidney stone free again. The bad news is that I have a 50% chance of having them again. A week after having the lithotrypsy to blast the stones away I came down with what turned out to be a pretty bad case of bronchotis. I have been working on three things Nashua Lace surplus top, a toe up version of Cookie A Monkey sock pattern and the sock yarn mitered square blanket.

I work on the lace top and the sock on alternating weeks, one week the top, one week the socks, the blanket is going to be a work in progress since it's going to take allot of squares to make one queen size blanket let alone two.

These are the toe up monkey socks. So far so good, ya but I'm doing nothing but the pattern and stocking net stitch so I can't mess up too badly.

This is the beginning of my mitered square sock yarn blanket. I have allot to go, and need allot of left over sock yarn. I have gotten some from Angele and some from Laurie from Ruby Sapphire Yarns
I've bought some from Ravelers that are destashing.
Anyone that has 3 grams or more of sock yarn that that want to be rid of please let me know I may be interested in taking it off your hands. Please leave me a message here or on Ravelry just look for KnitstressMaryI love this blanket so much.

Last and not least the 1st bottom piece of the Lace top. I have to knit another bottom piece before I can start on the top parts. So far the only change in the pattern that I have done is add one more row of the lace pattern.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Jaywalker sock mojo

This is the first jaywalker sock that I have made, I was quite pleased with the way it turned out. I cast on the second sock, and ran into a few problems, well first the cable broke right at the join between the needle and cable. In addition, I have knitted this several ways, from the middle of the skein and the end of the skein, I am using the same amount of stitches, and the same size needle, and still I come up with something that resembles this. This does not look like the other sock at all. Anyone with any ideas as to how to fix this? or am I just doomed?
This is the first sweater I knit for my DH, he feels it is cut too low and would like me to some how fix it. I measure it to where he wants it to be open. If I sew up the seam it's going to look like a vagina. I can go in and pick up stitches a and knit straight rows until I get to the marked place. I could then put an icord edge on it so that it would match the original sweater. What do you think?

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Yoo Hoo Hoo and left over of Yarn Pirate Shamrock

It's been almost a week since I last saw Sock #1 No one has found her, I keep looking searching and nothing. Though I will continue to look I have to come up with another plan of action. Following the suggestion of the Sisters of the Wool, I am going to ask, if any other knitters has some left over Yarn Pirate in Shamrock that they are willing to part with so that I can knit the other from the left over I have. I have some but not enough to finish the other sock. Does anyone have any they would be willing to part with so I can finish the sock?