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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Cat in the Hat hat

James is not yet two years old but he LOVES The Cat in the Hat, according to his parents.  Megan asked if I could knit him a Cat in the Hat hat.  Of course I thought I could, so immediately I went to the internet to find what The Cat in the Hat's hat looked like.  OK...red and white stripes with a white brim.  Finding a pattern for a toddler's sized hat was more of a challenge.  Eventually I found a website that had such a hat here.

That was not exactly what I had in mind so I looked a little farther.  I found this great website in Nova Scotia.  Since this hat was a nice sturdy hat, and the Seuss one was floppy, AND since this hat was meant for a child, AND MOREOVER since I had purchased a skein of red and a skein of white Galway yarn, the very yarn the Have A Yarn Shop used for their hat, this was an omen that I should make this hat and felt it.

On Saturday I spent about 20 minutes knitting up the main part of the hat on our Bond Incredible Sweater Machine.  So exciting to get all that knitting done in no time at all, and so much easier on my hands. I had sent for an upgraded carriage...the one that goes with the Ultimate Sweater Machine...which has a little outgrowth on the back so the row counter would work, and it really did work!  Made life so much easier.

On Saturday evening I knit the top of the hat according to the Samedi/Seuss pattern and finished the brim Sunday morning before Church.  Last night after a few long hours of errands which included picking up a Freecycled end table for the living room, I sat on the couch with Bob while he watched a harrowing episode of "24" (though they are ALL harrowing in my opinion.  My blood pressure can't take that show!) I mattress-stitched the seam and wove in the ends then put the hat into the washer with a small load of clothes.  I let it wash for about 8 minutes, found it was felting nicely but was not done, so I set it back to the beginning of the wash cycle...14 minutes, and just let it go.  Since I was still awake when the washer turned off I retrieved the hat and began pulling it into shape.  This morning it was still not dry so I pulled and pulled some more then found a container that used to hold mozzarella balls from the Coop Food Store to use to shape the hat.

Here is a picture of the hat as it finishes drying:

I hope James will like it.  I hope it will fit him.  After showing it to Elsie and Sharon I will mail it off to James.  I hope I can find a good box to ship it in.

Well, the plumber/heater men are here to install the baseboard hot water heaters in our bedroom and upstairs.  If I was the type to be humiliated at the state of our house, I would definitely be humiliated.  The place was NOT READY for the men, but here they are so...I had better help a little on moving stuff away from the walls so they can work.

Monday, October 10, 2011

International Space Station fly-over

Just as I was dropping off to sleep last night Bob asked me if I wanted to watch the International Space Station pass over above our heads. I leaped out of bed (in a rather slowish way-- because I was almost asleep...), threw on a warm dorm shirt and followed him out to the porch where we both sat on the top step scanning the sky.

We watched for fifteen minutes or so, looking for something big, bright, and moving fast.  We had seen the Space Station a couple of years ago on another clear starry night, but, even though Bob checked the path and the timing again on his computer, we still did not see it fly over.  Eventually he went back in to bed.  On his way by the computer he checked again and found the ISS was then flying over Europe, so we missed it by perhaps half an hour.

It was such a glorious night and I was so comfortable sitting out on the step that I stayed on for a bit.  The moon was a gorgeous giant ball in the sky.  There were a couple of very bright stars which I took to be planets, but which I could not identify.  There were lovely constellations and individual stars.  The peacefulness of the night was beyond description by my poor words.  There were occasional tiny cracklings in the trees in front of the house and to the west of the house in the neighborhood of the swamp.  These cracklings were not loud enough to think of deer or (Horrors!) bear, but more in the line of small rodents or quiet night-flying birds.

Such a lovely time, and just before I went in there was a special bonus: I saw two falling stars!  Robert Hamlin, at Dartmouth, has a Blitzmail bulletin called Stargazers.  He lists various star-related events in the sky.  It turns out there are some small meteor showers in October!  I knew about the Perseids in August which we totally missed this year, and there are the Leonids, I think, in November, but October was news to me.  So lovely to see these celestial bodies streaking across the sky.

A great prelude to a good night's sleep!  Thank you, Heavenly Father!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Another unpleasant adventure in the life...

Please take my advice and DO NOT attempt to smother a small fire with your hands!  Under NO CONDITIONS!  It has very unpleasant repercussions, and you cannot count on the attempt to complete the job.  Best to have a clearer thinking person around to rescue you.

This is the story...probably not as short as it could be.

Bob asked me some months ago if we couldn't have candles on the table for meals like Alissa puts on their table.  Well, that seemed like a sweet idea so I finally found some tapers for the table and put them in the glass candlesticks that my grandmother Mary Marjorie Read McIntosh gave us for our wedding, candlesticks she received for HER wedding, so they are precious to me.  I found some lovely sage green ones at Joann's before they were flooded out after Tropical Storm Irene.  So, we have lit candles on our table most suppers.

On Monday I had come home from getting construction materials and whatever else I was doing which included taking along my knitting bag (actually a Hannaford market re-usable bag that I really liked fr the flat bottom and the large capacity--perfect for knitting, and other, projects).  When arriving home I had put the knitting bag on the end of the table though I did take care of the other stuff I brought into the house.

After making supper and setting the table I lit the candles and called Bob to eat.  We were just sitting down to eat when he looked up, noticed that the hole where the light fixture is going to go that will illuminate the table was off-center.  Well, not really.  It was the table that had been moved to make the sheet rock project more convenient.  The upshot was that Bob said we needed to move the table into its proper position. OK.  Good idea.

The table is a heavy table.  We got it at Pompanoosuc Mills when they had their Memorial Day sale this year.  He got on one end and I got on the other end.  As we started to move the table, the knitting bag started to lean with the action.  Sadly, it leaned into the candle and INSTANTLY burst into flame.  Just as instantly, because it was a small fire and right in front of me, I clapped my hands over the flames to smother the fire.  BAD IDEA ALTOGETHER!!! DO NOT DO THAT!! I won't do it again.

The bag is a plastic bag and instantly embedded very hot plastic in my fingers.  Fortunately Bob was able to kill the fire somehow, though I cannot tell you what he did to stop the rest of the flames.  I went into the dinette and sunk my hands in cold water for a while.  It only helped some.  It was a bit more challenging to eat supper but I had somewhat lost my appetite so that was not as much of a problem as you might think.

It was somewhat unnerving to look at my hands and see the insides of the fingers all black and crunchy looking.  Bob suggested that I put ice on them which seemed like something positive to do.  I wrapped an ice cube in a linen napkin and held it there for the next three hours, changing the cube as it melted and changing hands when the right hand, which was not so badly damaged, reminded me that it, too, had had a bad experience.

Eldon and Leah had  come up with an armload of books for me to read to them while their dad helped with electrical work.  I was only able to hold the books with the heels of my hands and turn pages with the tips of my fingers, but it worked.  Leah sat beside me happily on the couch once I had removed the pillow that was behind her back and annoying her....she could not sit  with her legs out in front of her which she prefers to having them hang over the edge!  Eldon was on the eliptical trainer for most of the reading time.

Anyway,  it is now Friday.  The plastic has all worn off my fingers and there are only are few blisters left and they are kind of sinking in and will probably have disappeared in another week or so.

End of adventure.  Never to be repeated, I hope!

Here is a picture of what is left of the offending bag.  And no, the knitting was miraculously not injured...which is a very good thing because it is a beautiful lace blanket Brenda was making but handed over to me to finish.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Saturday is a special day...

It is the day we get to do lots of work!  It was General Conference weekend but still we did a lot.  Bob left very early to get a flu shot as well as to help with a deck demolition project for  some church friends.  I stayed home and finished canning/bottling crushed tomatoes.  I finished 23 pints.  I am so pleased with our nice new widemouth pint jars!

While listening to General Conference on the computer turned up quite loud, Bob, with very little assistance from me once in a while, finished all but the last two sheets of sheet rock in the pantry!  That makes me happy.  This house project is really coming along.  When he left for General Priesthood I thought I would get rolling on the green tomato relish, but after reading the recipe again, decided to wait until Monday morning...don't like to do things that seem like work on the Sabbath.  Went to bed, read a bit more of "Your Endowment" by Mark Shields, then a bit of "Sweet Revenge" by Diane Mott Davidson.  Bob came home sometime....!