Sunday, March 28, 2010

Beezy #5

As always, click on the picture to embiggen, and to see all the artistry and detail.
Going to the Clam Box was always a special treat, even for me in the 60's.   Not sure it still exists, but great seafood was always available on the east coast.   Mom and Dad, to their credit, always were adventurous in their eating and look at us now.  My brother and daughter in NYC, have the most varied and well prepared food at their doorsteps, and even here in Colorado, we are not satisfied with the basics...
Notice my Grandma darning socks.    I can't recall her knitting socks, but her skills were impeccable, so darning would have been within her realm of talents.  Nice looking guy, wasn't he?  My Dad must have been quite a charmer to captured my Mom's heart.
 Mom, always in charge!   She still is not one to sit still for long!   Good thing she is living in an apartment with lots of social activities and people around.
More and more, Mom shows the same dating habits of my daughters!  Like Cyndi Lauper says "Girls just wanna have fun!"

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Crock Pot Saturday

Now, don't misread this as "Crack Pot" Saturday, although sometimes it could be.   This is the original crock-pot from my wedding nearly 35 years ago.

The Hi-Low switch has been glued back together and there is a honking chip in the pot at the top edge.   And it is Harvest Gold!  But it still works fine, thank you very much.   Like you, Becky, I have been thinking about using it for dying fiber or yarn, but today it was put to work on a large brisket for Monday night's Passover Seder.  

It is highway robbery what they charge for brisket these days, especially since it shrinks to about a third of its size when cooked, and raw, there is a large slab of fat that always needs to be trimmed off.   Brisket was a cheap cut of the cow in the olden days, and slow moist cooking was the only way to make it tender.   It costs almost as much now as Rib Eye used to cost, so I guess like everything else, the prices of everything are going way up.   Good thing I only cook big meals twice a year now.....Passover and Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

...then snow again.

Ok, I have officially had it.   I am done with snow, I am ready for spring.  Seriously....haven't we had enough for one year?  This is today:

I didn't post about my terrible drive home last Friday, because it made me so mad.....  The snow came up quickly, the winds blew and the roads iced over right at the same I was leaving work.   The car I have been driving for the last several years has always been great in the snow and I love the ABS brakes and the TCS (traction control system) but for some reason, it all failed me on Friday's drive home.   On the downhill approach to a main drag near work, I literally stood up on my brakes, feeling the ABS vibrating through my whole body, but it was not enough to stop my car (which had been going about 1 mile an hour with plenty of distance in front of me) from sliding into and "bumping" the SUV in front of me.  Fortunately it didn't even scratch the other car, and my only damage was a bent up license plate and a couple of scratches on the bumper (think about the word bumper: isn't that what it is for????)  I exchanged info with the other driver, but it was so minor, that I tried to forget about it right away. (Sorry, Mom, I didn't tell you because you would worry)

After clearing the intersection, with the jelly knees that I get from this kind of stress, traffic was traveling so slowly that I came to a stop, but now I was heading UP an incline and the car refused to gain traction and make any forward progress when traffic cleared in front of me.   I kept putting it in gear, tried 2nd gear and all I could do was spin my wheels.    On came the emergency flashers again, and the emergency brake. And I sat there a couple of minutes watching other cars scoot around me giving me dirty looks, and I waited.   Of course, rush hour was just starting, so I didn't think I could wait it out completely, so off came the emergency brake, and into 1st gear I went again, but I was only able to go inches....  I had about 50 yards to get to the crest of the hill (I didn't even realized it was a hill till I was stuck on it!)

This went on for about 25 minutes cycling through trying to make it up the hill and sitting there, hoping no one would hit me.  I nearly called 911 to warn them that I was a hazard on the road, and I didn't want to cause an accident, but I didn't.    Finally, I was able to get up this small hill, and the rest of the ride home was slow but uneventful.   Except for my ABS light and the TCS light which were stuck on.   Did I mention that I only live 3 miles from work and the ride which normally takes 12 minutes, lasted an hour on this evening.

The next day, everything melted, the roads were dry, and sun shone.   Off to the dealer I went, because the lights were still on, and then they suddenly turned off, but the bottom line was that the car now has 4 new tires and a new front end alignment.  

Just in time for today's snowstorm.    Luckily, I was home safe and sound before it started this time.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring, then Snow, then Spring Again, or so they promise.

The glacier in front is retreating rapidly.  
The grass is matted down and will need some serious raking soon, and the gardens have been cleaned out.   There are some signs of the tulips I planted last fall in both gardens and out back, so I have some great color to look forward to.  

There were a couple of victims of the freeze/thaw cycles of this winter.    First, in the front garden, which was under snow for at least 4 months this winter was this resin/concrete pot.   It was placed specifically in this garden to keep me from trying to dig where the aspen tree used to be.   Short lived, but the stump underground refuses to decay enough to provide room for a plant.    When the pot was finally revealed in the garden from its snowy blanket, there was a crack.   Today, look what's left.   Oh well.

In the back yard, I often took a shot of the compost bin to record the depth of the snow during each major dumping.  

This is what it looked like this week.  
I had been mining the compost  from the bottom for the garden, and it must have gotten just top heavy enough this week to keel over.    At least I can get to the good stuff easier with it lying on its side.

Tomorrow is the last day of winter, officially, and guess what:   the snow is supposed to start at midnight tonight and continue on until Sat AM.   Blech.......

Next week is Passover, and I went out to see if I have any horseradish coming up.   Last fall when I was planting some tulips in this garden, I was pretty brutal chopping out the overgrown horseradish, and it looks like I did too good a job.   I only saw signs of two bunches so far, but it is not yet green, so maybe there is more.    I always believed that you can't kill is a weed after all.  

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Beezy, post 4

I just spent about 3 hours scanning the rest of the Beezy Album into my computer for posting here and for keeping safely stored.   I didn't realize how many photos were actually in the album, until a couple of hours had gone by, but I enjoyed every minute.   The more time I spend with the Beezy of the late 1940's, I understand how little has changed in the single girl's dating habits.   And I see the the same scenarios happening in my daughters' lives as they travel down some of the same paths.   Here a few cartoons for this week.

Girls like to dress up and have someplace to go, but guys have never really seen it the same way.

 Remember, that this is post WWII and the big band era.   Not too many clarinets in today's pop bands, but just substitute drums or guitar and it could happen.......
 The ubiquitous cell phone, always within reach, has changed this a bit, but you still cannot take it in the shower or the tub.   And now, the girls don't hesitate to make that call first.  See the monogram on the sweater? and the checkerboard tiles?   And Grandma always had the apron on in the house, as I remember it.
 Dancing with the stars and ballroom dancing as it was meant to be.......
 Those were the days when the office buildings had elevator operators.   Mom worked on the 79th floor of the Empire State Building in Manhattan as a secretary for Forge Mills, Inc.  I tried to find some info about the company, but google wasn't helpful here.  I believe it was part of the greater garment industry.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Just what I need: another project!

I met my friend Stacey for some lunch and knitting and catching up and this project followed me home: the Shop til you drop bag made with Hemp for Knitting in the large size.    If I don't have blisters or callouses when I finish this, I will be so lucky.     I'm using lots of lotion and shea butter on my hands as I go and it is helping a little.   I will love the results when I am done, but I will have the battle scars to show for it!   The next  skein may get soaked before being wound into a ball, hopefully to soften it up a little.

Lest you think I have forgotten about the afghan, here is the current square, the Meredith K Morioka square on page 8-9 of the GAAA book.

I just realized that my next post is my 200th Post since beginning this blog more than 2 years ago.   I will have to think of something special for the occasion!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

New Look!

Last night I noticed that there are lots of new options on Blogger for formatting, so I have been playing with it and trying to update my look.   New photo at the top and separated from the easier to read, don't you think?   I don't want to go overboard on the background, because my postings are so photo heavy and it would be a distraction, but who knows.

Comments are appreciated!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Another Pyramid o' Fiber!

I am loving having this drum carder at the least for the last week.  It goes home, or to the next lucky borrower this Sunday, so I was motivated to finish off the romney wool.

   It turned out so much better than the rambouillet/teeswater cross.   Not due the fiber itself, but to the fact that I think I slightly felted the dark brown wool in the scouring process.
The bottom skein was the first skein from the batch, and the top skein has the addition of some mohair and sari silk.   It looks softer in the photo than it actually is, though.   Feeling more like shetland type wool, its future is unknown.   I do have enough singles left to make another plain skein, so maybe a hat???.

 I was so much more hands off for the romney and the results are fluffy, soft and luscious. Here is a washed lock of fiber with its lovely crimp.

and its resulting pyramid o' fiber!

extreme closeup of a carded batt:

I am holding off starting to spin it until Sunday's Spinning Meetup where everyone can ooooh and ahhhhh!   I nearly bought a carder on Ravelry this week, but I had some concerns about its condition and the price.    Once I get the tax refund.........all bets are off.

Monday, March 8, 2010

BEEZY, post 3

More Beezy comics for your enjoyment.   As always, click on each one to enlarge and appreciate the artist's craft!
Now I know where my daughter gets it!    I don't recall my Grandpa being so formal, but I do remember that he never had a gray hair on his head!   And the house was suburban, not rural as depicted in the comic!

Grandma was a great baker and so is my Mom, and Toll House cookies have been a favorite for generations!  Even when they are a little dark around the edges......

This is my Mom showing off some sewing skills much to the dismay of her older sister, my Aunt Jean.   Aunt Jean is the musical one while my Mom is the crafty one, and she never let anything go to waste!  She still has her sewing machine in the apartment, but I have most of the knitting supplies.  There is a Hebrew phrase: L'Dor V'Dor, which roughly means "from generation to generation" and that is how talents and creativity are passed on.
Mom, you were such a heartbreaker, and again it reminds me of my daughters!

I remember the house well, a charming tudor style house in suburban White Plains, NY (yes, the house number was #9.   For 6 months in the  1950's we lived with my grandparents after Dad left the Air Force, and that was when Grandma taught me how to knit.  My first project was a coral sweater for my doll, and it had so many holes, it could have been mistaken for lace!   What I learned on her lap must have stuck with me because I have been knitting ever since.

The side porch was screened in and was the best place for breakfast and lunch.   The huge lawn with spruce trees and a flowering dogwood in the side yard was heaven for my 7 year old self.  

Pardon me while I go deep into nostalgic reverie.   

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Carding with a Tool!

The Olympics are over and I chose not to compete.   It is not that I wasn't doing anything for these last 16 days, it is just that I didn't want to put any pressure on myself.  I guess I just wimped out.    I didn't finish any of my projects, but am plodding along on the squares for my GAAA.   You know, knit one row, tink one row, knit 1/2 row, tink 1 1/2 rows.    And so it goes.   At this rate it's like paying off a credit card balance by paying the minimum payment each month:   it'll take 247 years (or so) to pay it off.  

I have borrowed a drum carder from fellow spinner, Lynn, to finish off my fiber

 from last month's shipment before I start on the fiber I got last week.   OK, I opened the inner plastic bag, and it is getting its first cold soak.  And I realized that THIS month's fiber is going out in another 10 days!   Yikes.  It is so soft and lanolin-y and hopefully most of the yuck will come out with the soak.

 The drum carder, a Strauch petite, is one hefty tool, and really does the job of blending the fiber into batts.   What starts out as this:

  ends up like this: a pyramid of batts, ready for spinning.

What could be done in about 10 rolags of hand carding can be carded into a single batt of about 1/2 oz with the drum carder.  What a timesaver, so much so that I feel a major purchase coming on.........    I had a 15 minute lesson Sunday at spinning group ( we are actually "multicraftual") and Sunday night I made 2 more batts on it, while watching the terrible new show, Marriage Ref, which came on after the Olympics closing ceremony.    Perfect background noise, and I am so glad I didn't expect to be entertained by the show! 

  Monday, I made 4 more batts with the rest on Tuesday evening.    I even went crazy on the last two, by blending in some natural mohair and some shredded sari silk.   See how pretty! On the pyramid they are the top two.

The flashes of color make me so happy.    Maybe I will ply with the plain batts, to maximize the yardage.