Thursday, October 29, 2009

Size Matters

It's the pumpkin size!!!  Yes....the pumpkin size!!!!  What did you think I was going to say!!!  "Size Really Does Matter"  Check out the link.  You'll be amazed!  When I grew pumpkins years ago, I used to inject the vine with milk as it grew to encourage growth.

Twelve of these babies were lowered in the water for the "2nd Burlington Annual Pumpkin Race".  A forklift was used and it took quite awhile.

You couldn't be overweight to sit in these chairs!!!

This guy, wearing his life vest, was anticipating winning the race as Obama did his!!!  (His team won in the end!!)

People getting in the spirit on this beautiful, warm autumn day!

Nice to be young!!!  You can dress up like this and noone thinks you're weird!!

The guy pictured above was a little overconfident........see below!!!

It's wet!!!

This little girl with her hand-crocheted pumpkin hat was trying to figure out what this was all about!!!

Three local weathermen participated in the race.  Of course, they ordered perfect weather.

It was really fun!!!  I was fortunate to have a great spot to take pictures.  I was on the dock and managed not to fall into "the drink" what with everyone trying to get a great viewing spot.  Several thousand people lined up along the shore of Lake Champlain.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Buttoned Neck Warmer #3

Pattern: DK Buttoned Neck Warmer and Hat (free pattern from my LYS)
Yarn: Manos Silk Blend (30% Silk, 70% Merino)
Needles: Size 6 circular

This cowl is a quick knit.  I've knitted three of these and gifted them.  Each has been in a different colorway.  Manos offers a wonderful selection of yarn.  Though I like this one a lot, the others are even prettier. 

I feverishly knitted on this cowl while on the plane to Denver back in June.  By the time I arrived I only had the buttons to sew on.  I became disenchanted with it and have been until I actually sewed on the buttons this week.  My intentions were to gift this cowl to the lady helping care for my mother.  I had not yet met her and when I did, I no longer felt this colorway would be flattering for her.  I still need to knit up something soon.   

Some of my knitting students from my mitten class want me to offer this cowl for one of my upcoming knitting classes.

Part of the fun of knitting is looking for just the right buttons for a finished project.  These are perfect for this cowl.  The picture does not show the true brownish-green that matches perfectly with one of the colors in the yarn.  The buttons for each of the cowls I've knitted were found at my LYS. 

Amy S., who is also a cross-stitcher was asking me about my new pattern book that I recently purchased.  I don't have enough time in my life already to do everything that I want to do, that the thought of cross-stitching again gives me visions of a pot of coffee constantly brewing in the kitchen and I don't drink coffee.  If not so painful, I'd use toothpicks to prop my eyelids open as I did in my younger, dancing, party days.

I seldom pay full price for my books.  I either wait for a sale at or I use my Jo-Ann coupon, each at 40% off.  Then I can justify buying more yarn.  I definitely do not need any more floss.  I have boxes and boxes and more boxes of the stuff like a little girl who wants every crayon available that Crayola offers.

This book caught my eye in part because my older daughter, Amy, loves giraffes.  They were a favorite after, at age 3, we were at a zoo and the giraffe extended its long neck over the fence and ate her cotton candy while she was in her dad's arms. 

This pattern has my attention because my high school mascot was a tiger.  Brings back many fond memories of all the things I knitted with a tiger on it to wear to my high school football games on a chilly Friday autumn evening.

I have been approved by my local recreational department to offer additional knitting classes this winter season due to demand.  I am quite excited.  After the first class, which had only a few in attendance, the rest of my classes have filled to my acceptable max.  I absolutely thoroughly enjoy teaching.  The classes are once a week, 2hrs. in duration for four consecutive weeks.  I meet other wonderful women who want to learn to knit or learn additional skills.   

Sometimes I wake during the night and think about knitting patterns that I'd like to design, classes I'd like to offer and other knitting-related topics.  The other day I was trying to decypher whether I have a passion or an addiction for yarn.   

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Delicato Mitts

Pattern:  Delicato Mitts from Dye Dreams
Needles:  Size 2 dp's
Yarn:  Fingering Weight (50 gr.)

These mitts were really fun to knit.  The pattern is extremely well-written.  I had difficulty putting this project down.  No SMS (single mitt sydrome) with this project.  I knit on my lunch hour and an hour or so in the evening and this project took me about 1 - 1 1/2 weeks to complete.  The yarn was purchased just a short time ago when I attended the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival.  Fiber content is merino and tencel.

Here's a close-up of the mitt.  It appears to be cables but isn't.  Not sure why Blogger is cutting off part of the pic when it is saved, but you get the idea.

I love the cuffs.  The cable look is achieved with K2tog and YO's. 

My "Beginner Knitting Class" came to a close this past week.  I had the maximum of eight women and they were all so very much fun.  Already, they are asking me to teach another class and telling me what they would like.  I also may soon be starting "private group" lessons in someone's home along the line of a "Tupperware Party".  This evolved because a previous student was disappointed that I taught only the one class this fall and the next one is not till January.  She wants to knit cowls in time for holiday presents.

I have several other knitting projects in the works.  One just needs buttons sewn on.  I've also started the "Spiralucious Cowl".  It's almost completed and I just started it yesterday.  I'll be knitting the matching mitts next.  The customer service from Anne Hanson at "Knit Spot" was fantastic.  Her patterns are beautiful and I'll definitely be purchasing patterns from her again.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Women and Health Care

I grew up in an era where women definitely were not equal.  I remember working with a man who did the same job I did and earned quite a bit more money and didn't work as hard.  It was frustrating.    I'm sure today there is still a fair amount of discrimination in the work force. 

As I raised my daughters I often told them that "Women had come a long way, but we had a long way to go yet!"

I regularly watch "Larry King Live".  Last evening, ten of our female senators were on the program, a few of them chosen as spokepersons, as to the discrimination in health care for women.  In only 14 states is it mandatated that insurance companies cover maternity health care.  If I'm not mistaken, there are fertile women in all 50 states and most likely some are trying to conceive.  Often, insurance is denied to women due to pre-existing conditions.  One of those conditions is having had a pregnancy.

It is proven that a man and a woman of the same age, an example of age 24 was given by one senator, the woman will pay 48% more for the same medical coverage as a man. 

Of course, there are many other issues regarding our health care.  Instances where someone having been treated for something as simple as acne is denied covereage because it is, again, considered a pre-existing condition. 

I am fortunate, more fortunate than most, to have excellent medical coverage through my employment.  My employment, like so many, is precarious.  Age 65 will be welcomed as I will have guaranteed insurance for whatever that is worth which is better than nothing.

Food for thought.........all comments are welcomed.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Yarn Purchases

Several people wanted to see pictures of my purchases from yesterday while I was at the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival.

Dye Dreams was one of the vendors that caught my eye.  They had many beautiful patterns and yarn.  They had clear plastic tote bags where you selected the pattern and then the yarn on the idea of "Make Your Own Kit".  Fun....lots of fun!!!

Here's a closer look at the yarn.  I'll be knitting the cable mitts shown in the first picture.

Ball and Skein, a Vermont vendor, had absolutely gorgeous yarn.  The skein pictured above is 60% seacel/40% silk.  It's a beautiful ocean blue/green.  There's 600 yds. in the skein, not enough for a shawl, but I'm sure I'll find a pattern I like.  I only purchased the one skein because it was so expensive. 

Before leaving for the festival I had a $$$ amount in my head that I was willing to spend.  I only went over by $3 so I was pleased.

On a different note, I am totally excited about becoming a volunteer for "Everybody Wins-Vermont".  I will be matched with a grade school student for lunch and we will be reading together for pleasure or playing educational games.  The program is designed to boost the child's self-esteem,  promote self-confidence and form a friendship.  Years ago I worked full-time as a teacher's aide with 4th, 5th & 6th grade students, helping with english, math and spelling, and I absolutely loved it.

I am so fortunate that my boss is allowing me to adjust my work hours in order to volunteer. 

We also had staff appreciation day a couple of weeks ago.  The entire university staff was invited to a catered picnic on the green.  The university president was there the greet us as we arrived. 

The food was great, the weather was fantastic, and again this year it was announced that we were being given the week between Christmas and New Years off with pay.  We all cheered.  This is the 4th year that the university gifts us with the much-appreciated time off. 

Combined with the holidays it means almost two weeks off.

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival

The Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival was moved from my town to Tunbridge, Vermont (home of the "World's Fair") which is about 1 1/2 hrs. away.  The "World's Fair" must be a joke.  I could be wrong but there must be 200 people in that town and not much of anything.  I had not planned on going but a couple days ago my friend,  Norma, asked if I wanted to go.  She wasn't really sure if she wanted to go either. 

Missed Clue #1 (that we should have turned around and gone home)- Weatherman said it would stop raining by noon......ha! Trust your gut feeling!!!

Missed Clue #2 - This was a sample of the mud we had when we arrived.  It was much worse by the time we left.  I was wearing clogs and the mud was sucking by heels as I tried to walk. 

Missed Clue #3 - More mud!!!!!  These people were ankle deep in the brown stuff by the time we left.

Missed Clue #4 - This was the sign beside the ladies room.  Norma kept moving closer to get a better picture.  "NO, NORMA!!!!"

Missed Clue #5 - This is getting weird!!!  The urinal behind the bush.  I didn't dare look.  Not sure if Norma did!!!!

Missed Clue #6 - What????  No dogs.....actually, there were sheep dogs.

We walked around the festival, purchased a little yarn, jewelry for Norma.  Now, we all know that when you go to a fiber festival, you touch and feel.  Norma wanted to show me a felted item and someone behind her screamed....."Lady, can't you read?"  "It says, do not touch."  "Are you an idiot?"

Well, the sign was curled over itself from the moisture from the rain.  The sign was nailed on the bench at waist height instead of eye level.  Norma wanted to go purchase a muffin and coffee and kill this lady with kindness.  After all, she was one of the festival workers.

We ran into quite a few blogger friends.  I finally was able to meet Mangofeet.  That's always so nice when that happens.  Ann Marie, Norma's friend, was there also. 

Missed Clue #7 - and this is the biggy!!!!...........

By this time Norma and I had been standing in line for a lamburger for 20 minutes.  It was "build an ark raining".  What you can't see in the picture is that Norma's umbrella was leaking like a sieve.  Our shoes were full of mud, the bottom of our jeans were soaked from walking through puddles.  So......after 20 minutes of waiting we decided that we would be better off in a nice warm restaurant as there were no places to eat under cover.  We prayed that the car would not be stuck in the muddy field.

We really did have a lot of laughter and fun in spite of being soaked. 

Are we going next year?  I think not, unless they move it back to the fairgrounds in Essex Junction.

Happy Knitting!