Monday, January 29, 2007

Daddy Taught Me Well!

Whenever confronted with a problem to solve, my Father would always look around to see what he could use. His soloutions to problems sometimes makes Rube Goldberg look like a rank amateur! I learned a lot from Daddy about looking outside the box - to wit....

My favorite aunt (the one who taught me to knit) sadly passed away a few years ago and I received several hanks of sheep's wool yarn from her belongings. I've never known what to knit from them as they are of a sport yarn weight, but now that I have just about mastered the fine art of sock knitting, I decided to knit a pair of socks with it.

Unfortunately, the hanks didn't come neatly packaged as a "ball" of yarn and needed to be balled before I could begin. Harking back to my childhood, sitting at the knees of my grandmother, holding the hank of yarn between my palms while she adroitly rolled it into a more manageable ball, I attempted to do the same with the help of H's hands. I don't know who ran out of patience first, him or me, but suffice it to say, I was skunked and put the hank of yarn in to the spare bedroom while I hummed on the problem.

I took it out again today and proceeded to try to unravel the yarn by myself and ended up in frustration. Until....... I looked at the kitchen stools and visualized them upside down. Voila!!! I had "hands" to hold the yarn while I adeptly rolled it into a nice, round ball.

Thank you, Daddy. You taught me well!
The new kitchen multitasker!

Friday, January 26, 2007

The End is Near!

This week's knitting class was a blast! Six of us ladies had such a good time giggling and enjoying the ambiance of surrounding hanks of colorful wool and great company, all the while just knitting away. One is making a sweater, another a kid's hat, two are knitting scarves and I'm almost finished with my very first attempt at socks.
This is not a very good pic - can't get close enough with my camera, but H saw three pileated woodpeckers sitting in the maple tree next to our house. What thrill to see these beautiful birds. Up close, they are huge with bright red heads and black and white bodies.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Giddy's Murder!

HA! Now that I have your attention, let me explain today's blog title. A flock of crows is commonly known as a "murder". We have a murder of about 5 crows that check in with us every morning to see what morsels we may have left for them on the driveway. Yesterday, we prepped all the chicken leg quarters we purchased on sale at the grocery (cut into pieces and skin removed) and had lots of nasty, slimy chicken skin left over after the prep. Instead of leaving it all to rot in the trash can til trash pick up day, I put some of it out on the drive for the "boys". They immediately swooped down and began a frenzy of feeding - they were in seventh heaven! Since I only have a 3x optical zoom on my camera, I can't get a good, close up photo, but I managed to get this picture of three of them parading up and down the drive in search of more goodies."Leroy (the ring leader) and the boys"

On an update on the knitting - I finished the mittens and am now on my second pair - some for H. Knitting class was fun last week, although I got off track and had to rip out all I had accomplished on my sock that day, soooo, I'm still just at the heel and will have to wait til I get further instruction for the remainder of it. Since I'm a visual type person, once I see it done, I'll be able to do it again. I'm just not much good with written instructions.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

So, How Cold Is It?

Pretty darned cold, I'd say. Temperature this morning was -6 degrees. Getting out of a nice warm, flannel lined bed this morning was not an option until H had the wood stove cranking out significant heat!

Upon finally getting up the nerve to remove myself from my nice fuzzy cocoon, (getting out of flannel sheets with a flannel nightgown on is like removing ones self from velcro!), I looked out the window to see the beautiful sea smoke hanging over the bay.

Yep, nothing to do but get a spicy lentil stew simmering on the wood stove! The house is now toasty and the aromas are delicious.
I'm off to my knitting class - what a great way to keep warm - sitting amongst thousands of hanks of wooly yarn, chatting and knitting away.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

One Down - One to Go

It's been a cold, snowy Sunday and since I'm at a standstill with my sock knitting until my next class on Wednesday, I decided to try my hand at mittens. I downloaded a very simple mitten pattern from the web and proceeded to give it a try. At first the instructions looked daunting and I didn't think I'd be able to pull it off, but I just took it one step at a time and voila! I have a mitten! I am just tickled pink.

Now, on to the other one. I think I'm getting obsessed with knitting and am already thinking of all the sweaters, socks and mittens I can knit for the grandkids. Spring can't come soon enough!

Speaking of spring, the garden and seed catalogs have begun showing up in the mailbox and each one finds me salivating over the newest plants. Since my rock garden doesn't get much moisture, I'm looking at a lot of sedums and the variety "Angelina has caught my eye. One of my favorite garden catalogs is from White Flower Farm and they describe it as a golden ground cover from Croatia, doing best in dryish soil in zones 3-9. I think I may put this one on my list of "must haves" this year.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Socks -n- Such

I've been knitting ever since I was a kid. My aunt was the one who gave me the needles and taught me very basic stitches. I've always enjoyed knitting simple, flat items, but have always wanted to have the time to learn more.

Today, I attended my first knitting class! What a hoot! Just a bunch of ladies getting together and learning something new while enjoying each other's company. Since I was really interested in learning how to knit "in the round", the instructor started me off on socks and working with four double-pointed needles. After fumbling around for a while, feeling like I was getting my fingers into knots, I finally got the hang of it and away I went.
Today is another one of those odd weather days. Still no snow to speak of but a bit colder and windy. H, who spent 21 years in the Air Force as a meteorologist thinks it's only a matter of time before we get slammed here in the Northeast. Perhaps we can take some of the burden off those poor folks in Colorado! I'm sure they must feel like they're taking the brunt of the bad weather this year. Bet they're not talking about "Global Warming". H has been watching the climatology quite closely and, in his professional opinion, we are just going through another cyclical period. It sets his hair on fire when people with no technical knowledge of climatology pontificate on the weather. (I've got to get him to stop reading the editorials in the newspaper!)

On another note, the winter garden's colors are beautiful in their shades of wheat and rust. The Miscantus Sinensis var. Morning Light is the centerpiece of the garden.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Our House

On my "Blessings" post several days ago, I posted a photo of one of my favorite views in Maine - Sorrento Harbor. I love the red house on the shore, but it's not ours. Here's a view of our house taken from the cove during a kayak paddle. It's not a very good picture, but you can see how wooded the site is. We sit quite high up on the bluff and enjoy a great view of Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park across the Bay.