Monday, March 30, 2009

It's blocking

NASCAR watching is just excellent for knitting.

The knitting part of the laptop cover was a fait accompli during NASCAR yesterday. It's been washed and is blocking on the back bed.

Light for photo taking is bad this morning with the total overcast and snow/sleet glare off the tin roof. About 11 last night we had a period of rain/snow/sleet which did accumulate on roofs and a skiff in the yard. DH says that halfway up the Blair Farm hill there is solid snow, beneath that is just skiffs....certainly tells one where the snow level is! We used to see that all the time on the San Juan Mountains in Colorado and on the Chiricahua Mountains and Mt. Graham in southeastern Arizona. It doesn't happen very often here in our part of southwestern Pennsylvania. Roads were just wet early this morning, dry now. It's 37; so, frozen precipitation is melting.

Later last night I picked up the second sock of the Fire Sox pair that I had finished the first one of during our vacation. Knit about 18 rows on the leg. It is being knit cuff down on size 0 double points.

Other projects are whispering in loud stage whispers that they've been on the needles longer and it's their turns, not Fire Sox' turn. Projects ready to cast on are talking. Yarn in cedar chests and containers are talking. It's a veritable cacophony.

Friday, March 27, 2009


from Winter hibernation after .8" rain yesterday,

the cinnamon fern is just beginning to poke fronds into daylight.

These are not daffodils! They are the pink miracle mystery lilies. These leaves will die back, as some of them are starting to do, and in the summer flower stalks will emerge.

Here are just some of the purple coneflowers emerging from their clumps. Being fond of daisies and their cousins as I am, I'm pleased that coneflowers are prolific.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thank you

Today's Postal Person brought a very welcome packet.

I really didn't expect this until at least tomorrow...but here it is...
the certificate that I passed the Basics, Basics, Basics course through TKGA, taught by Arenda Holladay. Along with my swatches and answers to questions and extra credit cable swatch with self-written pattern to go with it, came this certificate.

This course is really helpful as a preliminary to the Masters Levels. Arenda gives such helpful comments on the work submitted.

This afternoon I ordered Level I.

I love research. I enjoy the technical aspects of knitting. Now to receive the materials from TKGA, which I am receiving both by email and snail to continue the process.

Monday, March 23, 2009


in the wonderful but cool sunshine, we're making progress.

The laptop cover from Michael delVecchio (via Ravelry and "Canadian Living"

for me rather than Michael's book) is now back to the forefront.

Last Friday Lesson 3 of the TKGA Basics course was posted to Lexington, KY, so Arenda should have received it today. (...and, I should have results by about this coming Saturday. I can hardly wait!) I really enjoyed working on the course. Russ is encouraging me to go ahead with the Master's program.
Enabling DH, he is. I want to wait until I get Lesson 3 back. (But, will I be able to wait? Will I? Will I?)

We have flowers blooming!
First up are a few of the giant white crocus.

Rock Iris!

Just today, the very first daffodils have opened. I love daffodils and will be happy to share the various narcissus I have planted here over the next few weeks.

Yesterday this hummingbird feeder went up on the back porch. It's the one that is on the lamppost in the summer; but, with the current weather, I look out the kitchen door more than toward the lamppost, so want to see the hummers as soon as they arrive! There's a migration map that is updated daily on a great hummingbird site. The hummers are up to the Virginia border, so it probably won't be long until the first scout arrives. The ancient wisdom is that the hummingbirds arrive with the forsythia, wild currents and daffodils blooming.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Get ready for Sweater Day

which is tomorrow.

In commemoration of Mr. Rogers' birthday, tomorrow is officially Sweater Day. Mr. McFeeley even presented the KDKA noon news crew with sweaters yesterday on air so they would be prepared! (And so we would be prepared, too!)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


has always been a friendly place for me, all the trips through it and a visit over 30 years ago to attend a wedding and the Cowboy Hall of Fame. Wow, has the museum ever grown since that early visit!

This sculpture, "The End of the Trail" is probably the most well known sculpture in the museum. Taken from this angle, it isn't quite as familiar as the next shot --

here is a more familiar angle to most everyone.

And the Puma!

The puma always amazes me. It defines sleek power and grace.

Of all the paintings in the museum being on exhibit right now, I loved the 1993 prizewinner...unfortunately they had no more of the 1993 booklets, nor was I permitted to take a picture of it as it is in one of the areas photos are prohibited.

A beautiful day we had with Linda and Jim. I just had to take a picture of them by the bronze outside the entrance. And do you see who else is peeking through the bronze vignette? It's the Russelluphagus!!

Right by the statue is another vignette...another of my favorites.

After continuing on to GYC (Gourmet Yarn Co.) --Hi, Margaret and David and Katy!-- we had a wonderful dinner at Leticia's Mexican restaurant. From there we brought home chorizo and tamales which are fabulous. The chorizo is even better than Sonny's, which we thought we'd never say!

Ah, we were tired getting back to Linda and Jim's (spending all day from breakfast through dinner seeing some of the best OK has to give, yes, including Shepler's), but the gang was so happy to see us, particularly their Momma! Linda was attempting to perform her therapy exercises, but all 'that vicious pit bull' Brandi and Rhett wanted to do was to help her and to be loved.

Thank you for the wonderful time and for the cold pack/container for the food and the laptop fan and the ferrying and fun and most of all, your friendship. See you at 2.75!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Food and Museums and knitting

Back to Austin where Beth made breaded catfish strips and a gigantic salad one night that led us to bringing home a ziplock of the yummy coating. You can bet that the very next catfish we get will be fileted and cut into strips then coated with this breading before being lightly fried.

After leaving Austin on a day that was to be around 80, we headed north. Not to Alaska, but to Oklahoma City. There we were met by Jim and Squeek, shortly thereafter greeting Rhett and Brandi, who were really hoping their Momma would be following shortly.

Linda had to work late this particular day. As she said, she'd been on this job since July 1 and this was her first late day. But, you can't help what equipment does when it takes a mind to.

Here is Linda knitting on her BPT with help from 'the viscious pit bull' Brandi. Look carefully....Brandi fades right into the upholstery!

Rhett was very comfortable with all his people home and dog-loving company. So comfortable was he that he took a good long nap on his pillow cushion. A flash doesn't bother sweet boy at all...he likes to star in blogs.

And Squeek...who could be a sibling to our Nikki....really doesn't care to be photogenic. But Squeek loves to investigate whatever is going on and who is doing what where and when!

Linda surely was glad she had gotten the white chili chicken ready the night before and only had to get the Orange Tapioca Delight ready when she got home. I did say food, right? {We didn't even have to Wii for our supper (groan!)}

The next day would see us at the Cowboy Hall of Fame Museum of Western Heritage, Sheplers (we'd thought about the Cherokee Trading Post in El Reno), Gourmet Yarn Company and Leticia's Mexican food. (There it is again!) Pictures on most of this next post, but just a little yarn pron (sic) before we go...

GYC meant more Cascade 220 that will complement the Cascade 220 from The Knitting Nest and the cutest button that reads "Will knit for coffee."

How appropriate is that for this coffee-loving Swede?

Monday, March 09, 2009

Austin...beyond city limits

This is a heavy-laden picture post. They can be clicked on to embiggen.

Anyone a Texas A&M fan?
If so, then you'll recognize this cutie from one of the Texas Cracker Barrels...Revelry, the mascot for Texas A&M. One must have a collie mascot to mirror our Tawny and to celebrate Blake's attendance there!
Here's daughter Beth with Cricket the Boston Terrier and Queenie the Kelpie. Such sweeties! And Beth motored Blake, Shelby, Russ and I around Austin to go Shepler's shopping, mall shopping, yarn shopping, coffee drinking and all that good stuff.

Yarn...did I say yarn?

We stopped at The Knitting I had read about on Ravelry and on Franklin's blog. They were carrying in a birthday cake for was March First, his First Birthday! Russ enjoyed Franklin's drawings on the wall as he had met Franklin several years ago at Camp 2.0.
They have a wonderful selection of Cascade 220 and since I'm planning to use it for several future projects, I had fun walking back and forth holding hanks up against one another for color combinations. And what do we have in the bag with the Cascade 220? A starbuck's 'sweater mug'! We were a little early to the shop and there was a Starbuck's a block away....perfect timing to get one of the Stabuck's mugs that knitters are talking about before all the mugs were gone! The mugs were on clearance, too! It is curious that the knitting and the cables are upside down...


Have you ever seen such beautiful mesquite and pecan? This is just a tiny portion of the trees Thomas cut out of the pasture. They are being used right now for grilling in the smoker. What a wonderful fragrance met us when we returned from shopping to have Thomas stoking the smoker with mesquite for a terrific dinner.

Near the smoker was this friendly fella, Pete the Bloodhound. That's a four foot fence he's standing on.

Can you tell Shelby is really happy to be trying on clothes at her favorite store, Abercrombie & Fitch? She loves the perfumed air. The photos aren't bad, either. And the clothes on sale were a bonus.

Here's Cricket again, happy as can be to have her family back from shopping. Her tongue is just like that....

Thomas, Beth's husband, is the best outdoor cook. He's a mighty good ranch manager, too.
We are so pleased he could take a bit of time with us. "The Girls" cooperated in their calving.

This is far from the best picture of Blake, but better than the first try!!! He's our A&M guy who's doing very well his first year there, for which we're very proud.

Thank you Beth and family for the fun visit.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Back in time

We have been going down to the Austin area to visit Beth and her family each February the last few years. This has been such a very cold winter that we really
have needed to warm the very depths of our bones.

The week before we left while I was gathering things together and redding up(Irish slang and a popular phrase in the Pittsburgh area for 'straightening up') the house and such, Tawny and Nikki were particularly attentive to the process. The night before we left, Nikki laid on the couch, backed by my handspun pi shawl of the sheep I've known and loved. Nikki fur on it matches purrfectly!

Of the many years DH spent working radio in Texas, he worked in Waco several years, passing the Texas Ranger Museum four times daily. He never stopped to see it! Now was the time to remedy that situation.
This statue is in front of the museum. You can tell the wind was really blowing that day (as it was during most of our trip). I love how the Texas flag is stretched in the wind and makes it appear that the rider and horse are much more real than cast.

Although we didn't have as much time as we really needed, we did watch the movie and go through many of the exhibits. We were able to find the Texas Ranger who was DH's friend in Athens, Mr. Ben. I never knew him as DH's Texas time was "BN" (before Nancy). We will return again to the museum when we can schedule more time and see the parts we couldn't this visit.

It is evident while visiting the museum why "Walker, Texas Ranger" is broadcast daily through satellite television.