Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A walk in the Countryside.......

We love to do a little hiking up here when the weather's nice. These are the Tehachapi Mountains which we live half way up on.

Yesterday I was on the phone to an AT & T rep trying to work out my computer's air card issues. She was concerned about the signal that I'm getting and asked where we live. When I told her on the side of a mountain where there are no utilities whatsoever. She asked if we have to make our own power with generators and such. "Oh yes," I said. "Along with a wind turbine and 32 backup batteries." She commented that it must be very peaceful.

Life here is VERY peaceful, but living off the grid also creates its own headaches, too. Mostly for my husband (who happens to be a saint for putting up with all of this) because he handles all the emergencies! When you're off the grid, you alone are responsible for all the equipment. In winter, this can be very worrisome.

Looking to the north, you can see the town of Tehachapi and how the scenery changes dramatically.

Today is a "little wind" day, so definitely a good day to hang out laundry. In fact, I better get to it!

Have a great day!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Socks, Socks Everywhere....................

The sock order is coming right along. Here's one fresh off the machine.

Once the toes are closed up with a kitchener stitch, the socks are hand washed and placed on this drying rack.

Once they're nicely blocked and dried, they're ready to be boxed up. I'm about half way now on the order (60 socks) and am trying to make at least 4 socks each day. Will I make my self inflicted deadline of September 14th? Stay tuned.............

Our August sock give-a-way is almost up. Be sure to read the blog about it. If you have any trouble leaving a comment, just email me at Tehachapisockcompany@gmail.com and I'll place your name in the hat.

Hope you're having a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Here We Go Again...............

One look out my front door this afternoon and I could see that the monsoon type clouds were moving in. Definitely not good. They always bring a chance of lightning strikes.

Two hours later I heard thunder and my phone rang. My neighbor said to look out my window and sure enough - 3 direct hits with lightning to our east near the road that leads up to Old West Ranch (where our last fire was). This time tho, they were spared and it was much lower and burning brush.

The lightning was coming straight down and looked like it was hitting the ground, but no other hot spots were erupting.

We also have a large fire burning way to our west here in California and a great deal of manpower and equipment is tackling that blaze. But, within an hour we saw the first copter arrive to water up. Soon a second followed.

And then soon after, the large bomber arrived and began hitting the fires with the retardant. It took a good 2 1/2 hours to bring it all under control, but we'll be watching again tomorrow because more of the same weather is forecast.

A little knitting news too: one of our readers wasn't able to leave a comment on our August Sock Giveway, so her name was placed in the hat. If you're having trouble doing the same thing, please just email me at Tehachapisockcompany@gmail.com and I'll do the same for you. Read that post to read all the details of this give-a-way.

Have a great evening.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Tehachapi Mountain Festival......................

This weekend was filled with tons of activities during our Mountain Festival. What an event and people come from all over to attend. Our weather was absolutely perfect with a high around 80 today and a nice gentle breeze.

Today they also had the big Thunder on the Mountain car show that went along with all the festivities. Now I know why they call it that - at exactly 12 noon all the owners start their engines and rev 'em up for about 5 full minutes. With over 200 cars there, that was definitely "thunder on the mountain!"

I told my husband that I wanted to go in search of a 65 Chevy Malibu - my dream car! Right out of high school I searched for one but ended up with a 66 Malibu - the body changed that year, but I was still thrilled with the car. Today we found a 64 model.

Even this parrot enjoyed the show!

Lots of Thunderbirds were there and they were a real treat to see.

From there, we walked over to the park and checked out all the craft vendors and listened to some great music. I've decided to check if we can get on the list for next year's festival. Oh my gosh, that would mean making a couple hundred pair of socks during this next year!

Hope your weekend was as fun as mine.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Tea Bag......

Thought I'd better give you a progress report on the next knitting bag - "The Tea Bag." It's coming along, slowly but surely. With the order that just came in for 30 pair of socks, I've had to limit my time working on it. Finally made it to the half way point on the front and am doing some of the duplicate stitch as I go along.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the "Crumpet and Tea" collection, Tea just happens to be a rather whimsical little sheep who always has cold feet. He is Mrs. Crumpet's companion and she happily knits him argyle socks to keep his feet toasty warm.

Shouldn't be too much longer and the pattern will be ready. I'll keep you posted..........

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Serious Cranking Time....................

We just received an order for 30 pair of socks, so I'll be spending lots of time with "Doris." (for those of you who don't know who Doris is, she's our antique sock machine)

When we get orders like this, I always make myself a deadline. 30 days is good and that requires 2 socks each day. But, I always sneak in there another deadline just to add a wee bit of a challenge to myself. 20 days! That would mean making 3 socks each day. What will end up happening tho, is that I'll come in somewhere between the two deadlines.

So many knitters complain that they just can't get their projects done. It's all about goals. Do an inch a day, 5 rows a day - whatever. And even with that, your project will eventually get done.

I couldn't run this small (ok, micro!) business without setting strict deadlines. Believe me, it works. Try it on your current project that's just sitting in a lump staring up at you with eyes saying, 'finish me, finish me, finish me!'

Have a great day out there!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Morning Outing..................

Yesterday we decided to drive over to Stallion Springs which is about a 10 minute drive from where we live. It's a perfect spot for retirees - they even have a covered bridge!

Then we stopped to take a peek at some of the alpacas at "Field of Dreams Alpacas."

Coming down we snapped a shot of the Cummings Valley. They grow lots of organic veggies there and some wineries are now popping up. Maybe we'll become the next little Napa?

We were almost home when we saw a sign for peaches. YUMMO! U-Pick a bucket for $10.00 - and were they worth it, too!

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August Sock Giveaway............

I've been thinking more and more about the "random knits of kindness" and have decided to do a sock giveway this month. (the socks in the picture aren't necessarily the pair that will be given away)

Just leave a comment on this post (just one entry per person, ok?) and on the first day of September 2010, one lucky person's name will be randomly drawn to win a pair of hand cranked women's socks. I will pick the socks to be given away, but will email the winner and ask which size they would like.

So, tell your friends (or don't tell your friends!) about our giveway. Remember tho, your comment must be left on this post only! If you've never worn hand cranked or even hand knitted socks, this one lucky person is in for a real treat.

I can't wait to see who wins! Have a great, great day!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Random Knits of Kindness..................

My dear friend, Kathleen, who is like a sister to me is always (and I mean always) doing something wonderful for someone. On any given day you'll find her either making a meal, sewing or making a pair of socks for one of her friends. I am learning so much from her and find myself wishing that my heart was half as kind as hers.

So, I've decided to challenge myself and put my knitting needles (or my sock machine) to good use and start creating random knits of kindness. Now if you'd like to join me in this endeavor, feel free to jump on board.

This pair of socks is almost done - just need to close the toe and remove the waste yarn on one of them. Thought I'd surprise a friend of mine in North Carolina with 'em. They're made with Coats and Clark's "Heart & Sole" sock yarn. I just love the bright colors and patterns this yarn created.

Thanks Kathleen for all your inspiration! We can all touch someone with random knits of kindness - one stitch at a time!

Have a great evening.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The "Tea" Bag...........................

I'm making progress on the new knitting bag - well, a couple of inches an evening, but that counts, right? I get distracted and find myself working up crazy figures along the way. And I was wondering if any of you out there do the same thing. Don't ask me why, but sometimes (and not too often) I like to figure out exactly how many stitches are in a project. I know this is totally senseless, useless and probably weird but for some reason I find it entertaining.

This knitting bag for example - there's 100 stitches in each row; the back will have approximately 135 rows; probably around 10 rows for the bottom and then another 135 rows for the front. I figure that's just about 28,000 stitches. Then there's the handles to consider, but we'll leave those out of the picture for now.

I mean, think about it, 28,000 stitches! That's mind boggling! Maybe, instead of rating a pattern as easy, intermediate or advanced, it should just indicate how many stitches are required. That certainly gives a better picture of what's involved, right?

It's after midnight and my mind is boggled enough for one day. I'm off to Lancaster tomorrow to find some of Debbie Stoller's Stitch Nation yarn. Have you tried it yet? I've worked with the "Full O' Sheep" and loved it. I'm thinking of designing a warm, wintery cardigan with lots of Intarsia. First tho, I have to finish these 28,000 stitches!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The House is Too Quiet................

We had a great time while the boys were here. Yesterday started out a bit iffy when 6 year old Mitchell decided to see if he could stand on his head on the couch and get his head stuck between the cushions. Fortunately, the couch was forgiving and it didn't happen.

In the afternoon we went to see the new Ramona and Beezus movie (which was a wonderful movie). Again, Mitchell tempted fate to see if he could get his legs stuck in the theater seats. I knew if it happened, that the fire department was close by and surely this same feat had been attempted by other 6 year olds. Firemen have seen it all.

We made it home without a catastrophic event and the boys enjoyed playing videos games until dinner. After that, they went riding in the ranger with grandpa and had a swell time.

This morning they went home and left this house far too quiet.............

Guess I'll pull out some knitting. Have a great day.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Summer Activities.......

Spencer and Mitchell are spending a couple of days with us. The local park has these amazing carved tree stumps and the boys just love 'em!

The socks got finished and turned out rather fun, don't you think?

The next design is in the works. It's another knitting bag to compliment Mrs. Crumpet's. This one will have her sidekick, "Tea," on it. And of course, it will be called, "The Tea Bag!" Give me a good two weeks to finish it up and then we'll post it here and start selling it on Etsy and Ravelry.

I think we'll see what kind of mischief we can all get in to today. I'm sure there will be some photos tomorrow.

Have a great Monday.