Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Story Waiting For a Miracle...............

After about 5 days of cold, cloudy weather, we woke to this gorgeous sunshine yesterday. It's still very cold (20 degrees last night) but those bright sunny rays will be heavenly today. And, we might even hit 55! I'm thinking we'll peak at that temp for all of 5 minutes before the thermometer starts it's sprial downturn.

I wanted to share a rather sad display of human unkindness that I witnessed at the post office the other day. As I was pulling into the parking lot, I saw an older woman riding on one of those motorized indoor scooter thingies. By time I parked the truck, she was already inside and getting her mail. Her box was considerably higher and was quite a reach for her. This very nice man started to reach for her mail and said, "Here, let me get that for you."

"DON'T TOUCH MY MAIL!" she voiced loudly. I could hear every pin in the post office drop as everyone turned around to witness such an outburst.

"I was only trying to help," the kind gentleman offered.

"I DIDN'T ASK FOR YOUR HELP!" she again blurted out.

With that, his head dropped and shoulders sagged as he left the post office.

At first, I felt absolutely terrible for this kind soul and wished I could offer him some comforting words. And I wanted desperately to say something to this very mean woman. But, as I thought about this incident the rest of the day, it was her that I realized needed my pity, not him. What must her life be like to be so terribly unhappy and to treat others with such unkindness? Only God knows what is in her heart and the pain that she feels. She robbed this man of a blessing and I fear that he will be reluctant to ever offer his assistance again to one in need. But, she is the one that needs our prayers. How sad to go through life with such a broken and mean spirited heart. So, I'll just "expect a miracle" and see how the Lord works this out. It's a small town and I'm sure that I'll see this woman again. Oh my gosh, I just had a thought - what if "I'm" the next person that God puts in her path for assistance?

On a lighter note, these socks turned out wonderfully well and I've already started a second pair on "Doris." The next ones will have a 3 x 1 ribbed leg and I'll add a picture to the next post.

AND, today is the last day to leave a comment on the post, "November Sock Giveaway." Tomorrow I'll announce the winner!

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Our Thanksgiving was wonderful and I'm hoping that yours was too. Early Thursday morning I told Mac (yes, he understands everything!) that the kids were coming up. So, he spent the better part of the morning sitting there watching for their arrival.

Late that afternoon, I rode back down to Bakersfield with them so that I could watch our three grandsons on Friday. Both Cheryl and Scott had to be in their stores by 2 a.m. - can you imagine?

Saturday we stocked up on diesel and other supplies in anticipation of the snowstorm that was due in late Saturday afternoon. Most of the night was filled with extreme wind and rain, which was quite loud as I was trying to watch the new Mrs. Miracle movie on Hallmark.

The snow came during the night, but the winds blew most of it eastward. Still, Mac decided he wanted his bright red sweater on for comfort.

I tried to capture the blowing snow, but the camera didn't pick it up. Trust me, it's howling out there and I'm glad we turned off the wind turbine yesterday.

After the movie last night, I worked on a pair of socks and finished up the first one this morning. As much as I love to make them on our antique sock machine, I also enjoy handknitting them. Much more relaxing for sure.

November is almost over, so I want to remind you to leave a comment on the post, "November Sock Giveaway" so that you have a chance to win a pair of women's hand cranked socks. In this weather, nothing is nicer!

Til next time..................

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Project Updates.......................

Just finished this fun hat and scarf set. The hat was hand knitted and the scarf was cranked out on "Doris" - our antique sock machine. Just added them to our Etsy store in time for the big holiday shopping weekend. Cross your fingers! Yesterday two of our patterns zoomed off through cyberspace to Australia. I always love to see where "Mrs. Crumpet's" next destination will be.

You know how I share (practically nothing!) about a current project that I'm working on for a yarn company? Well, until it's published (or whatever they do with it), I'm just not at liberty to discuss it. But, this past week one that I had done for Red Heart (Coats & Clark) is now up and running. They're called Adirondack Slipper Socks and you can visit their website for all the details. It's hard to see in the photo, but leather soles are attached, too. I could use a pair of those on my feet right now!

Today is my pie baking day - 4 in all. Two pumpkin, 1 cherry and 1 pecan. That should keep everyone happy. There will be 9 of us sharing our Thanksgiving table and I'm looking so forward to having all my family and one dear friend on this special day. The worst of the storms has now passed, so we're expecting sunshine on Thursday, but very cold temps. I think our high that day will be in the upper 30's. I'm shivering already at the thought!

I want to wish all of you and your families a most blessed Thanksgiving holiday. Enjoy every minute with your loved ones.

Till next time...................

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Saturday's Activities.....................

With Thanksgiving fast upon us, we decided to make a quick run down the mountain and out to the desert where food prices are half the cost as up here. There's a back road from Tehachapi that's much quicker for us than driving all the way through the town of Mojave. During the week this road can be a bit slower because of the massive wind turbine farm they're putting in. Lots of construction trucks are in the area then. These turbines are gigantic and make our little 3K one look like a toy. Once the 3 phases are completed, it will help to feed L.A.'s huge appetite for power.

Less than a 15 minute drive from our house, we are heading down and see the great Mojave desert. The storm was at our back during this trip, so we wanted to get down to the grocery store and back up as quickly as possible.

We made it home safely with everything we needed just as the rains were really starting to hit. Then I decided to finish up the ankle socks that I was knitting. Love afternoons where you can just sit and knit with a warm cup of tea.

Last night Bo needed a potty break at 12:30 a.m. and I looked out to see a cloudless sky and a gazillion stars. By morning, we woke to this - an inch of snow!
The forecast is saying the bulk of this storm will hit tonight into Monday and we're supposed to have 4-8" at our elevation.

I see lots of knitting today!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Red Sky in the Morning, Sailors Take Warning........

When we see a sunrise like this and hear the weekend's forecast, we know it's going to get ugly. Reminds us of the well known little saying - "Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning - red sky at night, sailor's delight. First we're supposed to start with rain after midnight tonight. Tomorrow the snows arrive around 5,000 feet. By late Sunday into Monday, the snow will impact all our mountain passes and be down to 4,000 feet. We live at an altitude of about 4,500 feet, so today I'll need to batten down the hatches. My little potted rosemary plant will be brought inside and all the garden hoses put away now for the winter.

Yesterday I mailed off the completed project and written instructions to Coats and Clark. Then I decided to look for any unfinished projects and found these ankle socks. The yarn is called "Happy Feet" from Plymouth Yarn Co. - don't you love the colors? They make this in a DK weight also. I just love this yarn!

Then I found this patriotic scarf that I had cranked out on "Doris" (she's our antique sock machine) and decided to list it in our Etsy store. I love getting all these loose ends tied up!

The end of the month is fast approaching, so if you haven't entered our November Sock Giveaway, please read that post for details. On Dec. 1st, I'll be announcing the winner of a women's pair of hand cranked socks. And I gotta tell you, there's nothing like wearing a nice warm pair of wool socks!

What's the weather doing where you live?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Another Pair Cranked Out...................

Here's what the yarn looks like as a skein.

And here's the finished product. My supply of women's size L is like zero, so I thought it'd be wise to make a pair up. This is really a great, great yarn and the colors are marvelous. Sure hope our back order arrives soon so that I can show you more. I just listed this pair in our Etsy store, so keep your fingers and toes crossed that they sell quickly!

Have a great day out there and be sure to find some time just for you!

Til next time...............

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Day Filled With Knitting Projects............

I ordered three wonderful colors of Plymouth's Zino yarn for our Etsy shop. Two are on back order (must be very popular yarn) but this lovely color arrived and I just cranked out one sock with it. This afternoon I'll make another and get them in our Etsy store tomorrow. Christmas is just around the corner and I need to get cranking!

Today I should finish up the project that I'm doing for Coats and Clark and then tomorrow I'll type and proof the pattern. Sure wish I could show it to you or give details. Sorry, but mum's the word for now.

My husband has taken an interest in making wood signs and so I asked him to make one for my dearest friend. I've been meaning to take a picture of this one that has one of my favorite Bible verses on it. What knitter wouldn't love this? After the holidays we hope to get him a much better router with the special lettering attachment so that he can start making them for our Etsy store. Good job, honey!

Well, I better get back to my knitting and a bit of housework.

Til next time................

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Relaxing Fall Weekend...............

This has been a wonderfully relaxing weekend. Saturday morning we looked out and saw this hawk happily perched upon our wind turbine. The birds never come near it when the turbine is spinning. It's nice to have the hawks visiting. A bit later, we looked out and saw a lone coyote doing his best to dig up a rabbit hole - no doubt he had chased one right into it!

Today I've spent most of my time working on this project for a yarn company while watching some great Hallmark movies. We all took a short break from what we were doing and even managed a short walk up the hillside.

And as I'm writing this, I've got a batch of oatmeal/orange/cranberry cookies in the oven. Just add the zest of two oranges and 1 cup of dried cranberries to your favorite oatmeal cookie recipe and you'll be hooked!

And tomorrow our oldest grandson, Spencer, turns a big 10! Happy Birthday Spencer!

I hope your weekend has been delightful too, and that the week ahead holds some nice surprises for you. (Good ones of course!)

If you haven't left a comment on the "November Sock Giveaway" post, please do so, so that you'll have a chance to win a pair of hand cranked socks.

Til next time.................

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Patterns in the Works....................

There's nothing like a yummy church potluck. The problem tho, is getting your dish there while it's still warm. Since felted projects are so perfect for insulating, I've designed two felted casserole covers that will fit an 8 x 8 square pan and a 9 x 13 oblong. This is a picture of the smaller one. What's rather nifty too, is that it has a long tie cord so that you can attach your spoon.

I've got to finish up this current design for the yarn company first, and then hope to get these casserole covers up on Ravelry. Somewhere in there, I have two other upcoming projects AND Mitchell's green knitted monster to complete before Christmas.
Who needs sleep, right?

As always, I like to remind those of you who haven't entered our November Sock Giveaway to read that post and leave a comment for a chance to win.

Back to a little more knitting and then I have to make a run to the dump. Monday was too muddy and I didn't want to get stuck up there. It's actually a climb to the dump site and it gets rather mushy!

Have a great, great day and try to make some time just for yourself.

Til next time.....................

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Good Day for Knitting Swatches..............

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful............(I've heard that somewhere before) We had tons of rain last night and this stormy system is trying to blow out of here, which means the wind turbine is off for the time being.

So, when you can't run a lot of appliances, just sit and knit some swatches. I can't give you any details really, but this next project really has me bumfuddled. Mathematically it can only be done by using two different size needles at the same time. The top of the project will probably be a size 9 needle and the bottom down on a size 2. Can it be done? Actually, I won't know until the yarn arrives and I start the knitting. I love a good challenge, but when your name is on the finished product, you hope and pray that it all works out.

Saturday we went down the mountain and out to the desert to do some shopping. Each winter I've been squeaking by with just one clothes rack, and found a good buy at Target and picked up two. Don't misunderstand, I do have a dryer, but it causes such a strain on our diesel generator, that I prefer to hang the clothes on racks and let the pellet stove dry them. Our foremothers (why do they always say forefathers?) lived like this and were amazing women. I guess part of me has always wanted to try living like that and now I've got my wish.

Again, it's the challenge I think. There's something about having to work for your life - I mean physcially. We miss out on so much living in a modern day society. Everything is done for us and we no longer know how to do some of the basic things that our ancestors did. Like going out to the hen house for your chicken dinner. My husband talks often about his grandmother doing just that. (think I'll pass on that one)

Just trying to heat your home and run lights without being on the grid is challenging in itself. At night we close off several rooms so the pellet stove can reach the ones we do want heated. The only power drains at night for us are the pellet stove and refrigerator. Even the clocks in the house are battery operated.

If you're lucky enough to have some elderly relatives in your life, ask them what it was like for them and their parents. I'm sure it would be very insightful.

One of these days I'll share a bit about my father's parents who came here from Croatia and what life was like for them raising 6 kids.

Well, I better get back to my swatches. Don't forget to leave a comment on the "November Sock Giveaway" for your chance to win a pair of hand cranked socks.

Til next time..................

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pilgrims and Monster Feet

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. The house smells so wonderful with all the goodies in the oven and our home is filled with family and children's laughter. I can remember each year learning about the Pilgrims in school and how their lives intriqued me. Maybe that's why I've started a collection of Pilgrim figures.

And don't they add to the table decor?

Mitchell, who is my middle grandson (7 years old) asked me to knit him a green monster. I even have a drawing of how he should look! Here's his feet, complete with 3 toes each. Next, I'll start his body. More pictures will be coming.

Yesterday 3 knitting jobs were offered to me and I said YES to all three! This month will definitely be filled with lots of baking and a ton of knitting! I'm grateful, truly grateful for the work.

If you haven't commented yet on the post, "November Sock Giveaway," be sure to go there and read all about it. One of you will win a pair of women's hand cranked socks on Dec. 1st.

I wish you all a wonderful Friday and the best of weekends. Be sure to make some time just for yourself.

Til next time.....................

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

More Pictures of Doris............

I'm always amazed that so many of you want to see more pictures of Doris. You know, I think it's really starting to go to "her" head!! As crazy as it sounds, she has taken on a personality all her own. It probably all started when I named her after one of my favorite actresses and singers, Doris Day. The reason - when she first arrived from Canada all boxed up and wrapped securely, I just knew she'd be able to hum and sing once she was all put together.

This photo shows the ribber in place and you can see the one ribbing needle that I've put in. She can do several different types of ribbing, but I prefer the 1 x 1 - it gives a nice snug fit.

The ribber sits on top and comes on and off. You just have to remove all the needles before taking it off.

Sorry this last picture is a tad blurry, but I wanted you to look inside and see the set up basket in place. You always begin with waste yarn that is later removed. If you work a 1 x 1 rib, it locks the first row of ribbing in place which is really quite helpful. Other ribbings don't do that and they need to be finished off by hand.

I hope you enjoyed seeing these new photos.

Just a reminder too, if you haven't left a comment on the post, "November Sock Giveaway", please do. You'll have a chance to win a pair of women's hand cranked socks. And they really are quite fun to wear!

Well, back to the sock I'm making and then after lunch I'll work on Mitchell's green monster that he wants!

Have a great day and I'll see you on our next post.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November Sock Give A Way...........................

It's time once again to start a new give-a-way. Shall we do another pair of women's hand cranked socks that were made on our antique sock machine, "Doris"? I say yes! If you'd like to participate, please leave a comment on this post and then I'll draw one lucky name on Dec. 1st, 2010. That's when I'll send them an email with the good news and ask which size they'd like and send them off a wonderful pair of socks. I get the fun of picking which ones!

Yesterday I wore a pair of Doris' socks and asked myself, 'why don't you make yourself more of these?' Everytime I looked down at my feet, I just smiled at the fun colors that I was wearing.

I know this blog is about two things really - living off the grid and knitting. And I realized that I don't show pictures of a lot of my projects and thought maybe I should explain why. Obviously, you've seen lots of the socks that have been hand cranked. But, on the side, I do several designs for yarn companies. Until they release those projects for the public, I'm not at liberty to discuss them let alone share pictures. I hope you understand. If you'd like to visit our Ravelry site (shown in red at the right), some of the designs from former publications are shown there.

Today I'm working up some charts on Adobe Illustrator and then hope to work on my grandson's knitted green monster! As that progresses, pictures will be posted!

I wish you all a great, great Tuesday and hope once again that you'll leave a comment for this month's pair of socks.

Until next time........................

Monday, November 1, 2010

We Have a Winner!

Before I announce the winner of our October Sock Give-A-Way, I want to thank all of you for entering our fun drawing. I love looking forward to things (even if I don't win) and hope that the suspense has brought you some enjoyment, too. I don't use a counter, but actually put the names into a hat and reach in for one - much more fun for me! The lucky winner of a pair of women's hand-cranked socks is Connie from N.C.
Congratulations Connie! I sent you a message via Ravelry. Please contact me at our email address (shown above) to let me know which size (S, M or L) you would like along with your mailing address. Again, congratulations!

I think we're just gonna have to do this again for the month of November. Tomorrow's post will have all the details, so be sure to check back in the morning, ok?

Now, I don't know about you, but when I visit a blog, I really enjoy the pictures, so here's some from our Saturday's outing to a local apple orchard.

Once again, the weather was cool and cloudy.

I stayed in the truck with Bo, while my husband and son did the picking.

There's just something so satisfying about visiting orchards and farms.

We ended up with about 20 pounds of Golden Delicious apples and of course I made a pie that afternoon!

Thanks again everyone for visiting today and like I said, tomorrow's post will be about the next give-a-way.

I hope your Monday is spectacular!