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Sunday, June 24, 2012

What a week!

 The weeks just fly by so fast.  The week was mostly spent in the temple and was wonderful, except I managed to hurt the feelings of a wonderful lady when I mentioned how much I like her beautiful hair since she has let it go to its natural silver-y white.  "How sharper than a viper's tooth" is an unthinking comment.  I am so sorry but words said cannot be un-said.  I really meant that she was beautiful just the way she was, that she was enough, and didn't need any extra help to become beautiful.  She already was.  Well, maybe I will just keep quiet in future...at least I hope I won't hurt any other person, particularly one as nice as she is.

Late during the week we agreed to host a farewell/celebration dinner for one of the original Indexer/Arbitrators before they head west for their mission.  It will be on Saturday night.  This future event will make this coming week REALLY fly if I am to get everything done that I would like to do before the friends arrive at 5:30!  I will not humiliate myself by posting my hoped-for completed tasks, but let me say that if I get them all down, mingling task completion in between visiting teaching, meeting with ILEAD mentor, attending ILEAD fall teacher orientation, defunct chainsaw pick-up, knitting class at Joann Fabrics and Crafts, and multiple other items...by the time the dinner happens, I will probably be just this side of a basket case and may have to just lie down instead of enjoying the party. I hope not, though.

My plans for the dinner are to make the artisan bread I have posted before, some gazpacho...because there will be people to help me eat it as I don't imagine husband will even try it, and a cool noodle salad which is somewhat like Orchid's Cool Tangy Noodles.

Yesterday I started knitting on my Bond Ultimate Sweater Machine (which has been having problems ever since I bought it) to make a projected felted knitting barrel to use in the living room corner where I sit and knit when I am downstairs.  The corner is a disaster and not at all in keeping with our plan to have the main level of the house guest-ready at all times.  With this felted barrel I can shove all the projects I am currently working on into one container, and in a real pinch, actually pick it up (I am planning I-cord handles) and move it into our bedroom when knitting barrels and projects in the living room would be unacceptable.

So, I hung the cast-on rag I made from lavender yarn two weeks ago and started knitting.  The first two rows went beautifully and I breathed a prayer of relieve that the machine was finally knitting properly after so many headaches.  WELL, the very next row was nothing but trouble.  Missed stitches again and again.  I pulled them out at least three times, then stopped and took a picture. I am posting it here in case anyone reading this blog post notices and can tell me what I am doing wrong.  I also posted to the Ultimate Knitting Machine group on Facebook.  Someone will be able to help me.

We went to a glorious voice recital last night by our dear friend and sister, Elissa J.  The music was fabulous.  I closed my eyes and just reveled in the beauty of her voice and the music she presented.  Afterwards we enjoyed a reception prepared by Trisha S who had, among other things, made tiny whoopie pies with absolutely perfect filling.  Cream cheese, confectioner's sugar, butter.  How can you go wrong with those?!

On to a new week.  I hope I can share good news the next time I write.

Monday, June 18, 2012

New week, new post!

So, the AT hike concluded last Wednesday.  After a few mix-ups (mine) I picked up Bob and Al, dropped Al off in Brattleboro, and arrived home around 11 PM.  It was not 19 hours of straight driving as in the trip home from North Carolina last year but 8-plus hours was about all I could handle. I was probably asleep within minutes of arriving home.

Many of the things I wanted to get done while Bob was hiking are still undone, but I DID get all the outer covering off the wingback porch chair and the deck (seat parts) stitched together. I reviewed the MJ Amsden Furniture YouTube segment on working the deck and was reminded of something I had forgotten.  Hopefully next week I will finish that part, which is a combination of staple-taking the deck fabric to the frame just behind the arms, then hand sewing the fabric to the chair.  After that is done, then the fabric is pulled under and down and stapled.  Watching Mr. Amsden staple makes me hanker for a pneumatic staple gun!

Now a new week, our temple week, and we are back at the "temple motel" .  A funny thing happened: when we got to the motel, checked in, and were just getting back into the car to go to our room, down the road came two Canada Goose families...Father Goose with 6 or 7 pretty much grown-up babies, followed by Mother Goose (I base the gender of the guards on their size) and then along came a family of three geese behind them.  They were all just slapping their black feet on the pavement, slap, slap, slap, really going to town.  It took them no time to approach us from the far horizon then go by and head towards Margaritas.  Really funny.  Well, I guess you had to be there, but Bob and I both laughed out loud to see their slapping feet and total concentration on their road trip.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

AT Hike, Home Alone-Day Three

Awakening before 6 AM I decided to work on Cynthia's genealogy data entry.  Worked until 7:30 when I heard  a text message arrive on my phone downstairs. Yay!  A second message from my love.  All is well with the hikers again today.

This time I started the back of the cabled purse for Joann (they are having their open house from 1-3 on Saturday afternoon and I would like to get these items ready.  Perhaps that will make lots of people want to take the classes which will give me the satisfaction of helping people knit something beautiful and maybe bring in a little play money for me...

Worked on that until almost 11 when I stopped for breakfast and kitchen cleanup.  It is really satisfying to clean the counters off and get the dishes washed and have a nice clean shiny sink.  Breakfast was more of the burned-beef barley soup.  I threw in a few queen olives today.  Nice addition. I might not do it again, though.

After cleaning the kitchen and moving the marble slab to the dining room table I lowered the legs on the island/table so I could bring in the chair for re-upholstery.  When I brought the tools up from the cellar I noted that there had been moisture in the clear plastic container that held the little sharp tools.  So aggravating.  Will have to think of some smarter way to store them. I do NOT want them rusting.

This is the bottom of the chair showing the dust ruffle attachment.

Cambric bottom, chair leg detail

Cambric removed and showing the good condition of the webbing under the springs

Chair back: BEFORE

Chair back showing the beautiful blind stitching along the top welting

Chair back after fabric removed showing the cotton underneath.  I think it is in good enough shape to retain that cotton.
This chair was last re-upholstered in the days when they only used tacks.  I am going to be using staples when I do it.  This is going to be more of a job than I imagined, I think.  I forgot that I needed masking tape and a Sharpie pen to mark the parts so I can put them back on in the correct order.  I only removed the cambric bottom, the dust ruffle, and the chair back. 

It is now evening and I am ready to wind the Bartlettyarn for the Lean to Knit Afghan project and knit up the Block of the Month block, which is a double-cable design, also for the open house at Joann this weekend.  I am happy this happens this weekend because I will be out and about and will be more likely to remember that Eldon has a piano recital at 4:30.

AT Hiking Trip, Home Along-Day Two

Tuesday was a very busy day.  It was only yesterday but I have already forgotten a bundle of things. I had planned to take some friends and go to the temple but I had been awake much of the night and finally awoke around 6 AM with a sick headache and terrible lethargy.  Just before 7 AM I called my riders and canceled the trip.  We will try again next week.

After a nap which ended (again!) with a phone call, I started working in the guest bedroom/fiber studio to get things more orderly.  When I opened the little plastic bureau I found some deep red corduroy and decided to try making a zippered boxy bag.  I had gotten some zippers at the Upper Valley Sew-op sale last Friday so I watched a couple of videos on YouTube and got down to business.  The first bag I made was small and boxy and came out very well. It just needs a zipper pull to make it pretty useful.

Having succeeded with the little bag I decided to make a big bag with a vinyl lining....so back to YouTube to watch a few more videos where I gained confidence and went to work.  This bag has nice long handles so it can be carried over the shoulder.  It is meant to hold all my knitting tools in one place, so it is fairly large.  The vinyl sewing part of the project was not as successful as it could have been...but it worked.  The bottom/boxy part of the bag is not right but I am going to leave it.

Small boxy bag
Big zippered lined corduroy bag which is cranberry rather than the cherry it looks in the photo
Note to Self: When I make another lined zippered bag with boxy bottom: measure both lining and outside fabric separately and mark the seam line; sew the seam lines separately; finally--turn the bag right side out and nest the lining into the bag and see if it fits snugly and properly.  If not, re-do.  It will be MUCH easier this way.

Kim called on her way home from North Haverhill where she was called for jury duty.  Because she had time, and because I was actually home, she stopped in for a visit and a tour.  It was so great to have her here.  After a nice visit we both left and I did a few more errands which included stopping at White River Yarns to see if they carried Bartlettyarns since it was too late to get to Country Woolens where I know they DO carry Bartlettyarns.  Karen does not carry this yarn but told me that Hilda Yates' daughter has it at the Plainfield gas station/general store and that they probably were open until at least 7 PM so I took Jonathan and Alissa up on their invitation to supper--delicious fish sticks, french fries, stick fries, and tortilla chips with cinnamon sugar on them which were absolutely fabulous. I amazed myself with my restraint but I only ate one of them which Eldon brought me in the kitchen to test!

More errands after supper (Home Depot, Joann, etc) and after driving to Plainfield and finding EXACTLY the yarn I needed to continue on with the patriotic afghan I started using Barbara Walker's Learn to Knit Afghan book three years ago--had finished five blocks and used up most of the light cornflower blue yarn.  While driving to Boston the other day I finished the cornflower yarn so...

Home by 8:30 and immediately started the Joann knitting class project demo piece--a cabled handbag.  Robbie caught me up at 11:30 again!  I had made several gauge swatches but finally just decided to go with the size 7 needles.  I can only hope it was the fatigue that made me do it because I forgot how much cables pull in the yarn so perhaps the size 10.5 needles really were the right ones to use.  Oh well.  Good practice.

AT Hiking Trip, Home Alone (sort of)-Day One

On Sunday we went to Church, left early to go to a training meeting at the temple, went to Al and Linda's home for an overnight because Bob, Al, and Bruce were leaving at 5 AM Monday to head to the drop-off point for their 100-miler in Connecticut and Massachusetts.  I left around 7:30 AM and made a "progress" towards home, arriving around 2:30 PM totally wiped out from all the errands.  The biggest part of the progress was stopping at Frank's Bargain Fabrics in Claremont to get upholstery fabric to reupholster the chair Hap gave us several years ago which is to be a porch-greet-the-sun chair. 

Because of being wiped out I took a nap until the phone rang then got rolling on a few home-ish projects including burning some past-its-prime stew beef to throw into the "beef" and barley soup we had last week when Bob was home.  Now with actual beef in the soup, even burned beef, it tastes ever so much better!

Because I was feeling better I scouted YouTube for reupholstery instruction and found a fabulous 23-part series on reupholstering a wing chair...which is EXACTLY what I needed to know.  I finally went to bed at 11:30 (to Robbie's great surprise!  and my own, too...) after watching all but the cushion-making section.  The instructor does absolutely fabulous work...way more than I am going to do. I am just going to cover the chair with new fabric after removing the old fabric.  I think (hope) only the armrests need more attention than new fabric.  The mice rather liked the horsehair while the chair was in the garage over the winter. Blast them!