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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Knitting My Stash

I have been remiss in my writing due to my excessive knitting. I will confess that I am able to watch TV, listen to audio downloads, books on tape, or talk on the phone, while knitting. Oh yes, I can also be an excellent road trip companion. If the pattern is simple enough, I can engage in civil conversation. As the complexity of the pattern increases, the conversation ceases.

I have been knitting pretty simple stuff, to keep me from being too snippy. It is not as isolating as reading a book. When I disappear into a book, I am truly gone. No dinner, laundry or conversation. It has been a week of intense knitting while watching movies and catching up the Tivo recorded during our trip to MI. I will admit that the house has suffered. But, I have some cool new hand knits for my wardrobe. All knit with yarn from my stash.

It was interesting (read into this frustrating) finding patterns that matched the amount of the yarn available to me. I could not find more of it if I wanted to. In the case of the Twisted Sisters, Daktari, I tried and failed. I blended 2 colors to complete the project and it all worked out fine. Different than I originally desired, but still, nice.

School has resumed as of Monday. It is the all important junior year of High School for my youngest son. My daughter begins her senior year of college. Important for both of them. Important to their Mother as she looks forward to the empty nest. Some of my friends are experiencing the empty nest this week for the first time and the reactions are all over the map. From devastation to elation. I tend to be a realist. I can put my grieve in a box and look at it for awhile, then put it away and get back to the work at hand. Like knitting my stash...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Amusing Musings

I have never been a big fan of Golf. I took it as a college PE course, thinking it would be an easy A. Not as easy as the pros make it look! I have respect for the skill needed to play the game, and understand the attraction for the avid players. It just never has appealed to me to play or watch. My inner feminist must have been intuitively repelled. I just learned that golf is an acronym for "Gentlemen only, ladies forbidden."

When I was a young new driver back in 1970, gas cost .25 a gallon and a pack of cigarettes cost the same. I just noticed that gas cost approximately $4.00 a gallon and so does a pack of cigarettes. What is going on. Has this been a tracking trend. Has anyone else noticed this? I am a non-smoker, and really don't know why I noticed this, but I did. Is this a government conspiracy??

I started a cotton sweater with yarn from my stash that was purchased in 2007 and have run out with 3/4 of the sweater done. I bought the yarn on sale and did not know that I would love it or the pattern as much as I do. I am now willing to pay as much as possible to get more of the same and have contacted the manufacturer, ebay, internet stores,etc towards that goal. What the heck....

Reunion At Shoshonie Lodge

Here is the group in the living room. The Lodge was great and we all want to do it again!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

What to do, when knitting on the road with few supplies and a streamlined accessory bag? My pattern for swinging tank top called for decreases across the front and back to form darts. Stitch markers were required and I did not have any small ones.

I already had my pinkie ring marking the beginning of the row on my black bear bag. That is how I mark the start when knitting in the round and the needles are large. This top is on #7 needles and I needed 8 small markers. So, I headed into Starbucks for a sturdy straw and snipped off eight perfect circles. Knitting happily progressed. This is not an original idea, but worth showing and sharing...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Short sweet Visit to Crystal Lake

We never have enough time

to visit Deb and Tom at Crystal Lake.

We packed a lot into 20 hours!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Meet the Youngest Wenskay

We finally get our hands on baby Dominic!

Yummy baby of Jeff and Rachael.

What a great little guy.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Black Bear Bag

She started off in Encinitas, CA as 100 stitches cast onto size 19 circular needles. Three strands held together throughout,
and knit in the round with 5 decrease rows.

The knitting is brainless and was continued in Detroit, MI from the riverfront all the way "Up North" to the cottage on Lake Charlevoix. There the knitting was completed and the 80 remaining stitches were bound off.

The hot water at the cottage came out of the tap scalding. I knew I had to felt her right then and there. Sunshine, lake and kayak be damned. So I put her in the old washing machine and fired up the agitation and voila! The black bear bag appeared. After defuzzing and trimming and shaping, the Cheez-it box became the perfect drying form. Humidity in MI runs a tad higher than I am used to in CA. So, it did take 2 full days to dry. Here you see it sunning itself on the back of the row boat.

When I get back I can't wait to finish it with some nice fabric from Starry Night Hollow. Stay tuned for the finish photos. Roxanne has requested a firm bottom panel, lining with lots of pockets, and a closure, TBD by me.

I will keep you posted, takes on new meaning with the blog...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Coming Home

Time to pack- Got to get organized and out of here. Home to Steezy!!! Yeah. I dread the travel but can't wait to have a good sleep in my own bed with my dog by my side and to dieting. Did I say that??????

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Last Party

When ever you think you may have been to the last party while visiting the home state, another one breaks out! Last night down on the riverfront, the marina had their Mardi Gras party. Don played his sax in the moonlight on the boat to an appreciative audience. He has played the sax fireside every night "Up North" and in every living room we've plopped down in since we got here. Last week he borrowed the horn of Mike Goshey. Dear deceased Dad of Roxanne. Mike would be happy to hear the life breathed back into that old horn.

Evan started playing around with the guitar while visiting his cousin Scott, last Thursday. Scott offered Evan a loan of the guitar and suddenly we had a jazz combo. So we took it on the road. It was a true treasure to hear my 2 guys make beautiful music together. All week long we were serenaded.

The cottage neighbors came over to tell us it was the only time they enjoyed the rental cottage music that so often invades their space up there. Don was very flattered and humble (as usual) as he entertained and enjoyed having the time to play. Thanks to Mike and Scott, the traveling show of the Wenskay and Son Jazz combo was a success.

Today we celebrate a big birthday for our nephew Jeff. 30 years old and first time Daddy to Dominic. Then on to the in-laws for a final visit before we take our leave. What a whirlwind.

The Family reunion, The Crystal lake night, J,R & K at the lodge, Deb and Tom at the lodge, Lois falls and breaks her ankle at the reunion, finding Petosky stones on Lake MI, Making s'mores at the fire, meeting new babies, cooking a whole meal fresh from our earth that very day, etc., etc., my heart is full...

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Family reunion Views

When the time came to plan and prosecute a reunion I was enlisted by my Aunt to organize. I have a small family comparatively. There may be 100's of people related to me out there. But- I do not know very many of them! Less than 20 are here from all over the country. VA, NJ, MI, AZ, TX and CA are all represented.

We secured the Sho-Sho-Nie Lodge in Boyne City, MI. This lodge sleeps 16 and is on 500 feet of sandy Lake Charlevoix. I booked it sight unseen based on my Aunt's friendship with the owner. It is rustic and well used. A perfect location. Roomy, well stocked kitchen, laundry room, 3 baths, 8 bedrooms and a big porch to sit on. It is more shabby than chic- but very comfortable. We rented a sailboat and a kayak. Every night we have a big bonfire on the beach. I am bringing this blog to you via a nice neighbors unsecured wireless. Thank you neighbors! I wasn't going to even try based on the cell phone service! Spotty at best.

The gang went to Mackinaw Island. My hubby and son are scouting the local skate parks. I felted a 2 1/2 ft by 4 ft, handbag down to tote size. This bag has turned out beautifully. I may name it the black bear bag. It felted to a very nice thick bag with excellent color depth. I have straps in CA that are long black leather and shoulder length. It will be lined with pockets.It is a custom order for my sister-in-law Roxanne. She should get a lot of use from this one. Now that the relatives have witnessed the transformation of a loosely knit semi-sleeping bag to handbag via hot water and agitation- they under stand what I do. Sharing this is fun. Now to teach them all to knit. Two of the Aunts have always knit, but had never seen fulling or felting done. My kinda fun.

I went to the Jones farm on Camp Daggett road to get fresh picked corn, tomatoes, onions and cucumbers. I have prepared a cucumber salad, fresh fruit salad and caprese salad. Now, I just need the kids to return to shuck the corn. Time to go Kayaking...

MI vs CA

Two different States of mind.