Thursday, December 18, 2014

Twas the week before Christmas...

This was on the NorthEast Fiber Arts Center website:
A Knitter's XMAS Eve...

'Twas the night before XMAS and all around me
Was unfinished knitting not under the tree.
The stockings weren't hung by the chimney with care
'Cause the heels and toes had not a stitch there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
But I had not finished the caps for their heads.
Dad was asleep; he was no help at all,
And the sweater for him was six inches too small.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I put down my needles to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tripped over my yarn and fell down in my stash.
The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow
Reminded me how much I still had to go.
Out on my lawn I hear such a noise,
I thought it would wake both Dad and the boys.
And though I was tired, my brain a bit thick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
But what I heard then, left me perplex-ed
For not a name I heard was what I expected.
"Move, Ashford, Move Lopi, Move Addi and Clover
Move Reynolds, Move Starmore, Move Froilich, move over!
don't circle 'round, stand in the line
Come now, you sheep will work out just fine!
I know this is hard- it's just your first year,
I'd hate to go back to eight tiny reindeer."
I peered over the sill; what I saw was amazing,
Eight wooly sheep on my lawn all a-grazing. And then, in a twinkle,
I heard at the door-Santa's feet coming across the porch floor.
I rose from my knees and got back on my feet,
And as I turned 'round St. Nick I did meet.
He was dressed all in wool from his head to his toe,
And his clothes were hand knit from above to below.
A bright Fairisle sweater he wore on his back,
And his toys were all stuffed in an Aran knit sack.
His cap was a wonder of bobbles and lace
A beautiful frame for his rosy red face.
The scarf 'round his neck could have stretched for a mile,
And the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle.
The back of his mittens bore an intricate cable,
And suddenly on one I espied a small label,
"S.C." was duplicate stitched on the cuff,
And I asked, "Hey, Nick, did you knit all this stuff"?
He proudly replied, "ho, ho, ho, yes I did
I learned how to knit when I was a kid."
He was chubby and plump, a quite well-dressed old man,
And I laughed to myself, for I'd thought up a plan.
I flashed him a grin and jumped up in the air,
And the next thing he knew, he was tied to a chair.
He spoke not a word, but looked in his lap
Where I'd laid my needles and yarn for a cap.
He quickly began knitting, first one cap then two,
For the first time I thought I might really get through.
He put heels in the stocking and toes in some socks
While I sat back drinking scotch on the rocks.
So quickly like magic his needles they flew
That he was all finished by quarter to two.
He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free
And over his shoulder he looked back at me.
And I heard him exclaim as he sailed past the moon,
"Next year start your knitting sometime around June!"

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What Nor'easter?

     Well, the nor'easter passed and we ended up with 6" or so of snow, then it started to rain and now we have open spots in the yard.  Never got the stairs shelved off...they just melted!  More rain is in the forecast for this week before light snow on the 1st day of winter...Sunday.  The temperatures have been just above freezing and unless I turn the furnace up the house feels cold and damp.  Glad I have the wood stove!  At least one room stays comfortable!
   Jeff and I went to Utica on Saturday.  The weather
was suppose to be decent but it wasn't.   It rained and was cold.  The first stop was the Bass Pro Shop at Riverside so Jeff could check out the new guns.
Fanny and I sat by their fireplace (dogs are allowed in the store) and watched the crowd.  Fanny was her usual timid self and sat at my feet and quaked!  One time she groaned as a dog...a pit bull or American Staffishire Bullterrior...in a red velvet dress with puff sleeves, ruffles, lace trim, a full petticoat and a bow
on her head...walked by after having her photo taken with Santa.  I reached down and hugged Fanny and
whispered in her ear 'I promise never to do that to you'. I wish I could have taken a photo of that dog.  What a thing to do to your friend.
    The second stop was JoAnn Fabrics in New Hartford where I got the yarn I needed to finish my Christmas knitting.  Actually we stopped at Jeff's
sister's on the way but she wasn't home so we went on to New Hartford.  Jeff went to Ollie's while I was in JoAnn's and he said it was packed.  JoAnn's wasn't that bad!
    Then it was back to Sherry's and Jeff hauled out the ladder and changed the outside lightbulbs by her
back door.  Fanny and her dogs ran around the yard for a few minutes but by then even the dogs didn't want to be outside.
     Jeff and I were going to stop at Chantary's but
decided to skip it.  Too many people, lousy weather and neither one of us felt that great.  That's what 
happens when you stay away from crowds for too long!  We both came back feeling lousy so while Jeff went to his apartment to sleep I stoked up the fire,
made a pot of tea and put on the dvd of White
Christmas.  Unfortunately, I spent most of Saturday 
night on the phone so I didn't get to enjoy the movie
but I replayed it Sunday night!  I've seen it so many times I know the songs, most of the dialogue and many of the dance routines!  It's my favorite Christmas movie. And I can knit to it so easily!  May have to watch it once more to get all my knitting done! 
Today I moved part of my 'crystal forest' back to the shelf above the TV and  turned on the lights.  That's my Christmas display this year! (The other part of the 'forest' is on the piano with some glass snowmen...the best kind!)  
  
   
         
        
   

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It Finally Snowed!

View from the kitchen door, 9pm
Same view, 11am the next morning
but it's still snowing!

  The weather channel and the TV news had been calling for snow...due to that nor'easter...for the last 3 days.  Each night they predict 1-4" of snow and we get....0.  This morning it finally started to snow and right now we have 2" or so of wet, heavy stuff...a real wintry mix!  They say we'll finally get our due with 4-7" accumulation tonight and early tomorrow.  Oh, wonderful.  Even Fanny the dog doesn't like going out in it!  I don't plan on going any further than the woodshed but at least Jeff put a snow brush in my car! (Good place for it...inside the car!)   I guess I'll just keep the fire going and work on a Christmas present.  Jeff and I are talking about going to Utica...now on Saturday...the weather's suppose to be fine with temps near 40...and I want to stop at JoAnn's to get the rest of the yarn I need Christmas.  Time is running out.  I see some...many...late nights spent knitting!  I think I know how Santa's elves feel.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Waiting for...Snow???

  The Fanny the dog got me up at 5:45am with that itch she can't reach, shaking the bed in the other room against the wall.  She has a scab on the inside tip of her ear from a tick that she pulled off (what a dog!) that is healing very slowing because she keeps scratching the scab off.  And bleeding...on the top of her head where the tip of the ear reaches when she shakes her head...and the side of her head...where it rests when she stops scratching it!  She looks like she's been in a fight...and lost!  But she lets me clean her up and put Bag Balm on the scab.  It's getting smaller but how much longer it will take to totally heal ???  I think she secretly enjoys the warm wet microcloth washing the blood off her head, and the soothing Bag Balm applied, but do we have to do this at 5:45am?  
   This area is under a Winter Storm Warning with a Nor'easter moving up the state from the south.  Cooperstown was predicted to get 20-24" of wintry mix but we're predicted to get only 3-5" (from WKTV or 8-15" from the CBS TV station from Albany so who knows what we'll get?)  Right now, it's not doing anything outside.  It's even warmed up...to above freezing! We're just waiting for...snow??
  I cleaned up my knitting area last night and put away what's left of the sweater yarn, just leaving out what I'll probably use for Christmas presents.  Ripped out what I had done for one and restarted it on a larger needle.  Goes much faster and is becoming a nicer looking lacey cowl.  Still got to get 2 steins of sock yarn at JoAnn's.  Maybe Monday.  
   Today may turn out to be the perfect day to sit by the fire and knit by.  I've got enough wood inside to last until Jeff comes up later.  Maybe bake some cookies.  But a nap by the fire may be the way to start the day...Fanny's already gone back to bed.
  

Friday, December 5, 2014

December...at Last

   I worked in Cooperstown yesterday and came home to the heavenly smells of one of Jeff's soup/stews.  He had done a ham-bean soup that was so thick you almost needed a fork to eat it!  There were fresh carrots...from the garden...and beets that he sneaked in!  And besides ham...because he didn't think there was enough, he had beef and pork from our canned staples shelf.  And there were split peas and dry beans...I don't want to know the calories or carbs!  It was delicious and warm and so good!  I sat in my chair after supper and that's as far as I got.  No knitting.  No TV.  And after Jeff left, I went to bed.  (Fanny had gotten me up at 5:45am because Something was outside and she had to investigate.)  When I got up this morning I found the kitchen a mess...a great chef can't be expected to clean up...right???   (Why not?)  Jeff took a quart of his soup to friends who are temporarily lodged at a motel in town because of a major water leak in their apartment.  Their landlord is footing the bill but that doesn't include meals so she packed a cooler...bet the motel management loved that!...to last them a day or two.  If the leaky pipe is traced back to Jeff's bathtub he may be here for a couple of days.  The building has polished cement floors with stones embedded in them...terezza...and that means a jack-hammer and wet cement! 
 
This is the set I finished yesterday in the shop.  It's a size 1 and I'm calling it White Flowers.  Wouldn't it be pretty on a dark-haired little girl?  I thought this would be a nice change from the cream colored sweater with purple flowers that was hanging right there when I opened the store.  Around 2pm a nice lady came in, walked around the shop stopping in front of the sweater and said 'that settles it' and the Purple Flowers set had found a new home.  Can't complain.  Or shouldn't complain!  I'll start another one today and hopefully, get it done in time for Steve to take done on Tuesday when he works.  I'm finished working for the season and I really don't want to drive to Cooperstown again this year if I can help it.  He has another day to work later this month if I have to send anything down again. 
   I may have started something.  I always post my sweaters on Facebook before putting them in the shop and now the shop has 2 Facebook pages, one we maintain(CooperCountry Crafts) and one thru the Chamber of Commerce (Cooper Country Crafts).  Both full of photos of what's available in the shop this holiday season.  A woman saw a sweater...on both sites... and emailed me asking how she could buy it. We decided to put it thru the shop so the customer could use her credit card.  Now other members want that to happen for them and I volunteered to keep our site up-to-date.  Hope this generates some holiday sales coz things have slowed down some in town.  The shop is open 10am-5pm every day thru Christmas Eve and the phone number is 607-547-9247.   Better get back to knitting in case this works!!
     

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving

   That Thanksgiving eve storm got here about 1pm Wednesday with a wintry mix and things turned white quickly.  How come everyone forgets how to drive in this stuff?  Visibility was lousy and the roads were covered with slush.  Jeff had the 2 wheelbarrows full of wood sitting in the woodshed waiting to be stacked making it was relatively easy to bring armloads of wood into the house, and the oil company had delivered a full tank so we were set for a 'snow-in'.  Got 6-8" from that episode and a little more from the lake effect band that came thru yesterday.  It looks like a winter wonderland out there but I don't want to be out there!  The house was warm and comfy and even Fanny didn't want to go out!  My cousin Ed came over for Thanksgiving dinner but Jeff's sister Sherry decided not to drive down from Utica.  Dinner was nearly perfect...if I say so myself.  The pork roast was delicious, sweet potatoes and Jeff's carrots, with pumpkin pie and blackberry pie for dessert.  Now, what to have for Christmas dinner??
   Wednesday night Jeff noticed that the greenhouse had split.  We don't know if it was due to the weight of the snow or if the plastic had gotten brittle because he had hung the Coleman lantern inside.  He thinks it may just be the design...there isn't as much support as in the woodshed because the woodshed is made with cattle panels and the greenhouse isn't.  Those black marks in the roof are actually slits in the plastic along the PVC supports.  In the morning there was another slit along the next PVC.  One of the ideas Jeff has to mend the roof is to lay a section of plastic snow fence over the greenhouse and then cover it with another layer of plastic.  It's suppose to warm up a little this week and then we'll see.
   If there was a spy camera in my bedroom it would have captured a funny video Wednesday night.  I went to bed first but got up around 2:30am when Fanny started to growl and fight with something in the other bedroom.  I thought she had a mouse...or was ripping a pillow apart, a favorite past time, but it was just an itch she couldn't get.  We all ended up in the TV room with the can of Bag Balm before Jeff headed off to bed followed by the dog.  I got the job of turning off the lights, etc and when I got to bed there was barely enough room for me in bed.  Now, we're big people, but the bed is Queen size and if he stays on his side we can fit.  Thursday morning I asked him why he stayed in the middle and Jeff blamed the dog. Seems she was stretched out next to him...and she wanted her share of the covers!

 

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Wood Pile Grows

   It was so warm...in the 60's and nice...that Jeff and I cut and stacked wood this afternoon and the woodshed is nearly full again.  We replenished what we used this past week or so.  (It is so much easier to burn wood than to stack it.)  Don't know if either one of us will be able to move if someone yells 'fire' in the middle of the night but the shed is full again.  The wheelbarrows are full, too...waiting for me to stack that wood tomorrow.  I just couldn't do another 'barrow full today!  Jeff's got most of the pallets cut up but there are more waiting to be taken apart .  We're sort of at a stand-still collecting pallets.  Something is wrong with the Outback...it's started to buck like a bronco!  Jeff and Wally, from next door, think it may need a dose or two of fuel injector cleaner and a couple of bottles of dry gas.  They can't hurt and may help...and that would be a lot cheaper than a trip to the Subaru mechanic.
   The computers speakers weren't plugged in so of course they couldn't work, but even after plugging them in they won't work. 
Jeff spent some time trying to figure out why without any luck. May need new speakers.   Jeff also moved one of the big wing-back chairs from the living room into the master bedroom.  It fits perfectly!  I may move an end table and lamp to go next to it.  With an afghan, it will make a great nook to curl up in and read a book before bed.  (I always wanted the tangerine...hell, yes, it's orange...love seat that's in the living room in my bedroom but I've given up on that idea.  The last time I sat on it I couldn't stand up!  It's so comfortable but I sank and needed help to get up.)