Monday, June 30, 2008

Poor squeegiep

She listed 56 items on eBay, filled 5 dehydrator trays with herbs, made a couple of meals and now? well, now squeegiep wants a nap. Tomorrow, more items, and maybe the revelation of how the username 'squeegiep' came into being, since it sounds nothing like melissaknits. Say "skwee-gee-pee", accent on the first syllable, think thing used to clean windows, with P on the end.The good news? I think we've made a dent in the listings. The better news? People already like bidding on the yarn! That means it will go way and Mr. Wonderful will be so pleased. The bad news? How the heck do you ship coned yarn?? I am afraid to list it until I have a good idea of how to do that. Oh. I may know some people who could advise me on this.

Got Yarn?

Want more? Go to eBay and search seller name "squeegiep" (yup. really.). The listing has begun!!

The Great Stash Excision Event of 2008 is over. It was much easier than I expected. Everyone was amazingly supportive of my little yarn habit, and eagerly waiting for the part where they got to toss the "go" pile on personal quests. It was so wonderful after to watch everyone sift through and choose yarn. Not at all painful, and today I just feel so clean, if tired. When I look at the eBay pile I get kinda queasy, but by this afternoon, when some is listed, I'll feel better. First I need to make piles and lots and things. There's a lot of Cascade 220, single skeins, many colors. And a lot of Valley Yarns single balls, or partial balls. I think I am going to make up a few Valley Yarns Samplers, so if anyone is unfamiliar with the yarns they can play a little and see what some of them are like. And there's amazingly small amounts of novelty yarn, as the last time we did this Girl was pretty forceful about the novelty yarn taking a long walk. There will be some full bags of cotton. I kept all of the Noro. Exempted were cashmere, the Bohus kits, class samples and designs, and anything for book 2.
Here's how the evening went. After some chatting and wine sipping and chip munching (Rue makes a lovely spinach and artichoke dip, and Mary-Alice's pineapple salsa makes my heart sing. Then there was Katy and Traci's cheese and crackers - rice crackers even - and amazing hummus, which was the richest creamiest hummus on earth) Dena came to me, eyes alight with anticipation, and said "It's time!" We turned to confront the stack of yarn piled behind me. This is, by the way, not all of my yarn.
Mr. Wonderful stopped a bit short, and I felt like something was missing, so after this was sorted Dena and I went downstairs and found 3 more big bins and a lot of cones. I did not get pictures of them. I just needed to be DONE.It was just like that show, Clean Sweep? Where there's three piles, keep, go and maybe? Same concept. We had runners taking yarn from in front of me and placing new yarn for me to decide about. All I had to do was sit and be rational and not develop or remember intense emotional attachments to this or that skein or cone (example: first yarn I ever bought at Webs? Still here, on cones, intact). Things moved fairly quickly. I had made a deal with myself before that if I could not remember the yarn, or could not remember my PLAN for the yarn, it had to go. This was easier than i expected it to be. I will never really have the time to knit ALL of this into what I want it to be.
So let it go, let someone else enjoy it. And maybe watch blogs to see what people do with it - that would be awesome. I was making decisions pretty quickly and harshly. Not a lot of room for changing my mind, as Rue had set a 5 second limit - if no decision was forthcoming in 5 seconds, it went into the maybe pile.I believe in teaching by example. Watchful Girl got a good taste of self-discipline and control here, I hope. Maybe she'll never have a stash of anything this large to purge; that would be the real lesson!Sock much? This is the tip of the sock iceberg. Most of it is going. Some is partial balls, leftovers. And there's a LOT of it. Then came the fun part:
Sample Knitters Have At It...
and without even any bloody battles!! I was so proud.
Favorite picture: "Whatchoogot?" I can just hear it.It was easier with people and food and wine.
and the assistance of the amazing labeling Dena!! We sorted the "keep" while everyone rolled around in the "sell". This morning, however, I am confronted with this. Sell. Sort, organize, photograph, list, sell.It didn't look so bad, until I rounded the corner...and saw what was behind the couch. My week is already over. This is gonna be it. List, photograph, sort, organize. I'll post a link when it's all up. I got rid of way more than I expected to. Which of course means only one thing.

I need more yarn.

(I also need a labeler). Now, in the realm of oddities and non-knitting content, I just remember this last night. Every once in a while they throw me a curve that I am not sure how to handle. Last week I found this in a next box.It's not uncommon in the first year of lay to see some insane looking things. But thing is, none of these hens is a first-year layer. These are old ladies, seasoned hens, who should be laying things that do NOT look like suppositories...and...well...what's IN there?We have to know. I mean, don't we?? I had to...White. Just...white with a little smudge of yolk. Chickens are a never ending source of amusement around here. of course, it doesn't take much to amuse me. Maybe more baby pictures tomorrow. They're beginning to feather, getting pushy and big and bright-eyed. Personalities are emerging. But more about those silly birds tomorrow. I hear eBay calling me. Loudly. Screaming even.

Friday, June 27, 2008

No news is, uh, all you're getting! (Sort of)

Not a lot going on here except some chaotic and heinous 'life happens' stuff, not even any knitting - I even forgot to take pictures of the prizes I sent out today. I can, however, tease you with gratuitous ch*ck shots...ready?TuttaTwo, Darcy and Truffles
Um. TuttaTwo, Darcy and Truffles. Hams. If chicken can be ham.
TuttaTwo wondering about the concept of gender identity.
TuttaTwo and close buddy and pal Truffles. See a trend? We've got three forward folks and two camera shy ones.
Wing feathers are beginning to burst forth. It looks like we've got a lot of partridge feathering so far all the way around. I really cannot wait to see what they look lik all feathered out. Feathers on mutts are just so fun to watch for!
Now I will knit for a bit, because I can. The weekend is impending, with classes to teach and parties to attend, and the very scary stash clean-out. Anybody want to buy some yarn!?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Good News, Bad News

Bad News: No one guessed the name of the unusual plant in my garden. I told you it was unusual. But very, very me. Patchouli!! Which no one guessed, but how could they? Utterly unheard of here. And it's growing as slow as molasses (in a very small quantity on a very cold day) and I am trying to figure out how to transplant it inside for winter.

Good News: I got a serious kick out of some of the answers.

Bad News: I need to pick only ONE grand prize winner and two runner's up.

Good News: Random number generator!! Everyone was assigned a random number with the thing and then a number was selected randomly from the random numbers - I will spare you any further detail - the winning number from this lovely generator was 9! NUMBER NINE WINS!!

Bad News: Most of you are not number 9

Good News: Angela is!

Bad News: I still have to choose runner's up, and these are really hand-picks based on my personal level of amusement when reading your response.

Good News: Jean (from Maine who has no blog but is a member of the afghans for Afghans group) cannot possibly know that I have been trying to grow watermelon for YEARS and there's a whole back story about my insisting to everyone after years of failure that a certain plant in my garden was watermelon, even when it put forth a something that looked much more like butternut squash, and even when I was eating that watermelon baked and warm with cinnamon and butter and a touch of maple syrup... and dlalomia who gave an answer worthy of myself complete with rationales (Ask Tracitalynne. She accidentally asked me if kids get hurt doing somersaults. I think she's still recovering from the statistical analysis.) are the runner's up.

Winners/runner's up - PLEASE email with your mailing address and such so I can get your goodies out to you.

Bad News: The hen may be senile, and Marshmallow is...uh...toasted.

Good News: we get way better pictures now! Five babies alive and kicking (and scratching and chirping and being cute).
Right now I am off to fetch my grand daughter for a day of fun and napping and bottles and more napping and playing and napping.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Four, and counting!

Truffles, Taffy, Marshmallow and Licorice. So far. Two more pipping...more will be revealed (or not).Mostly what we see is this - Eleanor on eggs of babies. The bigger babies hopped out of the nest and could not get back in, so the eggs were moved back under her. If you biggify the picture, you can see the top of Taffy's head poking out.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hey, Mister Betsy...

Meet Truffles and Taffy.
Pipping hath commenced!

One More Day!

Only one more day to guess the plant featured in this post! At 8pm EST tomorrow, the polls will close and winners shall be chosen. Free yarn, people! What's not to love?

The day after Tuesday I had a visitor. I will present our day in as few photographs as are grandmotherly possible. I took about 150. Thank heavens its all digital. Grandchildren could break the film and processing budget in a heartbeat. First we had crawling practice time.Then we spent some time laughing at Omi in our recliner bouncer thing. This was actually Aidan's, I bought it at the Salvation Army for like $5.00. I love the Salvation Army.
Then we fell asleep in the chair-thing, and napped for a while.
After nap we had roll over practice on the big blanket. She spends a lot of time on the big blanket.
Then back into the recliner bouncer seat thing so Omi could go get her lunch. Handy. Baby cannot be stepped on by dog or roll off of blanket while restrained in this manner. She's found her tootsies. She likes to grab them and hang on, which often results in more smiling. The child smiles and smiles and smiles.
While she was here she requested a new sweater, the cable and lace wrap cardigan from Lois Daykin's Baby Knits book (which I adore, excepting the lack of schematics, but still love!!)The yarn is Valley Yarns Goshen. This is one of my myriad "distraction" projects. Row gauge is a bit off which makes the lack of a schematic that much more distressing, but I am winging it and it's working. I also cast on and started knitting this craziness - beads and wire, mixed and random. This is very much playing around, has no direction or purpose, but is fun and shiny and makes me happy. I've been having some kind of tofu fit lately. I am not sure if this is a result of tofu being on sale, and my buying a bunch, or if I am having some sort of phytoestrogenic perimenopausal soy craving thing. Who knows? But this week's ready-made lunch is:photogenic. Also called Spicy Thai Tofu. Mods? Of course!! Cilantro instead of basil. Kale instead of spinach. Extra garlic and ginger. That's about it. Otherwise I TOTALLY stuck to the recipe. Totally.
So about those stimulus checks. Mr. Wonderful and I pride ourselves on being relatively smart about money. I am kinda cheap, and he'*l. So when the check was in the mail, we began debating uses. Pay off a bit of our next cruise? Good plan. Be responsible with most? Better plan. Blow some? Sure, why not. One of the things we discussed was our clothes dryer. Now, I hate dryers. I advocated strongly against replacing an existing and functioning appliance on a variety of grounds ranging from the environment to the wallet and back again. I won, and we dismissed "dryer" from the list and replaced it with something cool, like "yarn" or "handheld gps for geo-caching husband who thinks he's taking wife bushwhacking for benchmarks". I prefer a nice trail, myself (I can knit and walk), but I said whatever I needed to in order to avoid buying a new dryer. It is I suppose a love/hate kind of thing with me and the dryer. In the middle of a five day rainy spell, I love the thing. When I am leaving in 20 minutes and have no dry underwear? Love. But generally it is an item I avoid, and not just because I don't do laundry (Hallelujah for the man who loves to wash and dry). It grates against my nerves. I can hear it tumbling and tumbling and sucking energy from the wall, and heating up which then sucks more energy. And it destroys the joy of clean sheets and towels by making them soft and smelling of...dryer. I prefer crisp, crunchy, and smelling of sunshine. We do hang a lot out on drying racks. In the winter things dry pretty fast in front of a pellet or woodstove, and the moisture from the drying clothes soothes my nose.We inherited this thing. It came with the house. We left our old one behind because it was old and decrepit. We know nothing about this one; age, lifespan, nothing. We know that sometimes the buzzer randomly does not work (I appreciate this), and the gasket inside is mostly absent. We know it's an economy model and a bit on the generic side of things. It's a low-end but really big and heavy duty sort of model. No frills, no fuss, no muss; really the kind of thing I would buy since in the world of dryers "Energy Star" is not a phrase one hears. Ever. It is also now a giant doorstop. Space-taker-upper. Big Old Dead Object. How was I supposed to know the stupid thing was actually dying? Yesterday we bought a new one. It's coming tomorrow. It took about five minutes to buy. "Cheap," I said, "and with a moisture sensor. And a fluff cycle." And - I hope - a switch for the stinking buzzer. I briefly toyed with the concept of repair, but dismissed it. New dryer: $400. Repair guy: $60 an hour, plus an additional minimum 1 hour charge for showing up. And we've got no clue what's wrong or what it needs. So we're looking at $120 for the first visit to diagnose, then probably a second visit since it's an obscure brand, which means more hours of labor at $60, AND any needed you can see where this is going? My desire to consume less is consistently thwarted by the culture's desire to spend and shop and throw away. Grr. Now, this could all be solved if I simply took over laundry duty and hung everything out and we just didn't replace the thing. This is not a sacrifice I am willing to make. The man does laundry. Do I really want to take that away from him??
Still waiting...
for these...
to pop open and reveal infant chickery. The good news? I held an egg or two to my ear. I heard scratching. This means that in 24 - 72 hours we should have hatch. I make no promises. I did not hear chirping, only scratching. But scratching is a darn good sign.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

If I Promised

If I said I was going to deliver anything cool this time, I apologize in advance. I did slap something fun at the end of the post, though. Not much is happening that I can write about, really. I sit, I think, I write, I think, I sit, I write. I knit. I get up, get coffee, check the mail, then sit and write and think and write and sit. And knit. Then I get up, check the chickens, do chores, weed, gather whatever is ripe outside, come back in and sit and write and think and sit some more. And knit. This will be the sum total of my life for a while, at least two days a week. The remainder of my time will be divided into teaching classes, cleaning the house (I don't plan on putting much into this one. I am hopeful that Mr. W. and Girl will just naturally take over. hey. It could happen.) and running errands and such.
So today we'll go with picture heavy, content light.
Comfort Food - South African Curry and Rice made with tofu instead of animal. I love this. I put it over brown rice, and will eat it all week long. No one else touches it. This is good. My favorite comfort food is actually Noodles Ala Cre (this dish is occasionally and incorrectly called 'tuna noodle casserole'). I can't have it any more because there is gluten in the soup and the noodles. Curry works!

Herbs, fresh, for drying and later use. I love having my own again. It's been a long long time. Sage, rosemary, mint, thyme, oregano, parsley...they are drying now.
Mountain Laurel. This is real honest laurel, not hybrid. It grows wild all over the place.
Raspberries in training. I cannot wait.
Blackberries in training, but you can't check your email on these, or call home. They're great with cream and sugar though, or in jam.
Baby Peachlet. There's maybe 15 on the tree. If I can keep the deer away, I may get actual fruit this year. The tree is still young, only 5 or 6 years old.

Bunny Bath. This came with the house and I love it. It's very charming and sweet and sees a lot of use.
Gooseberries and Currents. I am also trying to make sure I get these before someone else does. Last year we lost them all.

Motherhood, Eleanor's style. She is in the same position, I think, as last time. I know she's getting off the nest because the food and water levels change. She's very entranced. I love this part. I think she does, too.
SUMMER SQUASH!! This IS summer for me. I will eat it every day for days on end and drive the family crazy with it.
Future tomatoes. Things are looking up. This is our first real garden in four years. We've got our own kale and spinach and lettuce on the table almost daily, squash and tomatoes coming. Can't get much more local than this.
Strawberry, the one remaining. They don't last long around here. They come inside just slightly before being fully red, or the birds get them.
Almost last but not least - - - - KNITTING! This is Kraemer Sterling, hand-dyed by Gail Callahan, the Kangaroo Dyer. I am swatching. When I am not writing.

OK, now for the fun part. Guess the plant and win a prize! The first correct guess will win a skein of hand-dyed sock yarn. Be warned - it's not as easy as it looks. Hints: It is an annual here, although not elsewhere. It is very uncommon in New England. In the event that no one guesses correctly, I'll draw a random winner in a week's time. Good Luck.