Monday, August 31, 2015

Still Debugging

I wasn't kidding when I said I was going to freeze my knitting.

 That's Tracery in with the ice cream. I was working on it when I first felt itchy on Tuesday night. Goodness knows what might be living in it. I'm not taking any chances so I'm keeping it frozen for 24 hours then I'm putting it in time out for a week. That should do it.

In the meantime, I've reconnected with a fall project I know has been sealed up since last Christmas. Trying to figure out all those cables is hurting my brain though.

The itching is better but not gone. Along with my three daily salt soaks, I've been concocting up some lotions and potions using my soap making stash. It's helping along with a spritz of.......Windex. Yes, you read that right. People swear by it and in desperation I gave a small patch a squirt and it worked. I'm not sure about doing by whole body in it though. Listerine has also been helping in those small, really itchy spots.

My daily activity is centered here. I am afraid to sit on anything comfortable until I am sure the buggers are gone for good. I'm also afraid to go outside and it's still a long time until that first killing frost. Sigh.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Spot On

Thank you, thank you, thank you Sandy O'Brien for suggesting in my comments yesterday that I might have a....ahem, bug problem. Last week we had glorious weather and I was outside enjoying the sunshine on more than one occasion. I usually stay under the umbrella but since it was so nice, I sat in the sun under the trees. Big mistake. I distinctly recall flicking a tiny red bug-most likely a mite that dropped out of the trees, off my shoulder when sitting and picking fleeces last Tuesday. If there was one, there was probably a herd that hitched a ride inside in my hair and on my clothes resulting in four days of complete misery. I'm not kidding when I say I look like I have the measles. It's been awful but at least now I have a plan of action. I've actually been through this before a few years ago. You'd think I'd have remembered it.

 First I debugged myself and the dogs. Since I know Dawn works great on fleas, I covered everybody with a bubbly layer from head to toe and scrubbed away.

Then I soaked in some Epsom Salts just in case anything lingered.

 All my spots got a dose of oils, lotions and rubs-the more the better.

 Later, I took another bath with my magic goat's milk and peppermint soap from Delighted Hand's recipe. Ahhh.....

I even made up a batch of clay and charcoal glycerin soap for my raw face. It has honey, hemp, coconut and shea as a base and tea tree essential oil as its fragrance. Ahhhh....

 Then it was off to purge the house. Every nook and cranny got vacuumed.

 Everything I've touched got washed. Twice. The I used up an entire lint roller rolling everything in sight including my knitting, which I am afraid to touch. I read you can put it in the freezer for 10 minutes to kill mites. Tomorrow.

The machines have been running non stop all day but at least I have the promise of relief and maybe a good night's sleep. Ahhhh.....

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Seeing Spots

On Monday, I had an itch so I scratched it. Then I had another and another. By Wednesday I was covered in spots. I was pretty miserable. Still am. Poison Ivy? A virus? Dunno but I'm too damn old to be covered in calamine.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Unfinished Business

I filled up a cart with quilt batts at Walmart the other day. I am finally getting serious about that pile of unfinished Daddio quilts.

 Anything that has a backing ready to go is getting sandwiched.

 I know I've said it before but I love this stuff. I don't overdo it. A little spritz here or there works miracles.

 The dining room is awash with Daddio's crazy patchwork.

This one is getting stitched in the ditch. What I really need now is a better machine for quilting. I'm hoping Santa is listening. A Janome 1600 P with a Gracie Queen frame would be nice. Ho, ho, ho.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ready to Roll

Ta empty warping board. That means the warp is either in the trash or on the loom.

Ta's on the loom.

 I love the Webs way of dressing the loom. I've tried lots of different methods but this one works for me.

 Those counting threads make quick work of it.

 I rolled it up again instead of chaining. I never had any luck with chaining. It always got tangled.

The blessed cross is safe and sound in the lease sticks and none the worse for wear. Hallelujah. Now to talk The Mister into helping me wind it all on.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Back to School

 Yesterday was a beautiful day. Of course it was, because it was the day all the kids went back to school. It's been hot and miserable all summer and as soon as it becomes nice enough to go outside the kids are back inside for school. It always seems to work that way around here.

 I celebrated my fifth back to school as a retired teacher by sitting on my deck with a big bucket of wool that needed picking. There was a time I thought I needed a picker to do this job but I'm glad I never bought one. It's my favorite part of processing a fleece.

 Pulling it all apart into piles of airy fluff for the carder is the perfect way to spend an afternoon-as long as you stay upwind and remember not to touch your eyes until you wash your hands. Don't ask me how I know this.

When I get this box full of picked Texel I'll be in the carding business again. I really want to turn it into a cardigan someday but that's a long way off from here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Little Sunshine

 My big yellow string bag aka Aubade the pi shawl, has gotten a bit bigger. I am actually on the last lace pattern before the border.

 The problem is that now I have to increase a stitch between every stitch of the already 288 on the needle. It is an interesting increase. You knit a stitch then you do a backward loop cast on stitch. I've never seen that before.

 The lace is a big mess at the moment. I can't see any of the patterns because I can't stretch it out to see if I was at least in the ballpark with it. I'm going to have to wait until I block it and hope for the best.

288 x 2 is....a whole lot. From now on it's going to be real slow going but at least the end is in sight.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Slipping Away

 The summer certainly has flown by, hasn't it?

 Most of my teacher friends have already gone back to work to prepare for the students who will be returning this week. I sure didn't get much stitching done this month but I've got lots of good excuses. September should be better.

I've still got a few more days to work on my August block. The little rabbit hiding behind a watermelon is stitched from the one color I've run out of in the kit so some matching has to be done before I can continue. It won't take long. I think I've got every color ever made stashed in one place or another.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Sunday Soap: Not Mine!

 Just like there are rock stars in the knitting world, there are rock stars in the soaping world and I worship them from afar. Two weeks ago I spent a hair raising afternoon with my finger on the refresh button trying to buy soap from one of them before their website ran out. It was all gone in minutes....but I got THREE bars- and immediately felt ashamed of my greed. So many got none.

 Zahida, the rock star soaper of Handmade in Florida puts out her wares every few months and they are gone in a flash.

 You'll see why in a second.

 Look at that soap.

 It smells like heaven.

 Every bar is a work of art and she makes hundreds. You can watch her do it on You Tube. Trying to figure out how she gets her swirls so clean and crisp is keeping me up nights.

 Even the tops are something special.

To really torture you, she adds a small sample of some upcoming releases. The one on the right smells incredible. It is called Sensual Oudh. Oudh is made from agarwood and it is one of the most expensive raw materials in the world. You can buy 6 drops for $3 or an ounce for $461 at Eden's Botanicals. I want some. In my dreams. I'd have a better chance getting one of those soaps when they come up for sale but that's not going to be easy now that these samples are out. Sigh.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Baby Steps

 Undine is this big now. I've been trying to do two pattern repeats a day and so far, I've been keeping up. I am more than surprised to say that the heel is in sight.

 It's been a long time since I used any of my fancier stitch markers. You don't really need them with this simple feather and fan pattern but I like looking at them so I put a few in use for the fun of it. Every little bit helps in August.

I've also been winding a small section of the twill warp every day and now it only needs one more repeat before it can go to the loom. That was fast. Slow but steady certainly wins the race.

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Final Chapter

Daddio's house is gone. I made it through the settlement proceedings in spite of a very bad case of the heebie jeebies. The new owners actually turned out to be neighbors of my parents who are buying the house for a son who is coming out of the military and needs a home and something to do. That's nice. I was doing fine until they gave me flowers to thank me for all the work I had done getting the house ready to go.  I barely made it out of the office before some serious blubbing began.

 I called The Mister from the car and he suggested a diversion.

 Some Mexican food and drinks were the perfect antidote for weeks of hard labor. That blue margarita was the best thing that's happened to me in weeks. It wasn't quite a celebration, more of a wake.

 A walk through the beach town followed. It was a blistering afternoon.

 I was doing better until I saw the sad little angel memorial that was dedicated to an old friend of Mom's. Of course there was more blubbing.

 My parents loved their little beach town. My mom was only happy when she was ankle deep in the murky water of the Chesapeake Bay. She brought her babies here to play as often as she could. Now they are all gone from these shores forever.

In spite of the blue skies, I can feel a storm coming. It's been a rocky road but at least the end is finally in sight.