Catching up

Winter is truly here now, we got over 8 inches of snow yesterday and it's cold and bright today.  My Acadia hat is getting much use this winter.  The double band keeps my ears lovely and warm.  We needed the snow, as it's been a quite dry, mild winter for the most part.  We seem to get several days of bitter cold, then blam!  Right back up into the 40s. 

Last Friday we hit 55°F and had a lovely Pokemon Go run in the park.  Now we are pretty much snowed in, since Hubby took the truck to work this morning and I just can't make myself go anywhere in the car, even though it's all wheel drive, and the main roads are probably ok again.

I am quite thankful 2016 is over, the last several months SUCKED.  Unfortunately, I am not feeling overly optimistic that the next 4 years are going to be any better. 

My goal for 2017 is to find a part time job that I enjoy, rather than something I endure.  Although, that may happen, as I have dental work out of the ying to pay for. 

After a good start with the new expac for WoW, Legion, I am now bored again.  We went from having many guildies on at a time, to maybe having two or three now, so I think a lot of people are on the same page.  We can't get enough people to raid, and LFR rewards just aren't enough to spend time doing that.  As usual, the casual gamer is pretty well ignored in favor of the hard core raider.

Even World Quests, which were once a great way to get geared up, have lost their charm, as they rarely give anything good even for my alts now and Emissary loot boxes seem to be stuck on 835 gear, and absolutely worthless.  Hoping that the next patch opens new content and the final steps for flying.  Until then, I go in briefly each day to do my daily pet battle and on Tuesday to kill the weekly World Boss.  I did get a legendary item drop on an alt this week, so that was great :)

Well...

I have spent more time on my book blog than here, obviously. We mostly skipped Fall here, Summer was officially over Nov. 17 when the temp went from nearly 80°F on the 16th to freezing and snowy the next day, haha. Until then, the weather had been unusually mild.

And with the cold comes the knitting! I am much more motivated to knit when it's cold out, haha. I finished my Blackrose socks in Blue Moon Fiber Arts' Socks That Rock, Morticia colorway. I love them in all of their purple and black glory! Now I am knitting a blanket square with the left over yarn.

It's weird not having a sock on the go though. Must be time to look through Ravelry again, see if I can find something fun to start. I am getting quite a bit more confident in the knitting now, changing patterns to suit me (I kind of winged it on the heel length, gussets and even the toe shaping of my Blackrose socks, haha. I got about 2/3 done with the 1st sock before I decided I didn't like the heel as written and tinked back.).

Next up is to umm, finish the thumb on the 1st White Witch Mitten and then cast on for #2. Maybe have a full pair before winter's end?? Maybe?

I'm stash knitting now, since I still haven't gotten a job and I have dental bills from hell to pay and therefore no yarn budget at all. Most of what I have is bits and bobs of sock yarn. I see multiple blanket squares in my future.

I have a ton of red cotton that I bought to make a Cherry Bomb, but it's been hibernating for so long I think it probably needs to hit the frog pond, since gods only know where I stopped, haha. And frankly, who wants to knit a tank top in winter, haha.

I even walked in to the teen's room the other day and found her knitting again, so apparently she's also decided the change in weather means knits!

Finally, some rain.

Like I said in my previous post, it's been super dry and hot here.  Yesterday we got lucky and things cooled off early.  Yay, for being able to open the windows before midnight!  We also got rain off and on all night.  It's now starting to rain again, which is brilliant.  First because, you know, cooler weather.  Second, because I don't have to water.  My container garden needs watering every day.  The tomatoes get a gallon of water each, most days.  The jalapeno, not so much, but it still needs watering.

Then there is the little yard out front that while there's no grass, still needs watering for the lilies and the bushes and the two sad trees.  One was dead on top, so last week I sawed the top half off.  The other one is an evergreen, that is mostly red.  If it were my tree (we rent), I'd have cut it down by now.

Of course, as I watch it hail and absolutely pour down on my plants, I am a wee bit worried for them.  I would normally pull them inside but I opened the door and got a face full of water, so hey, you're outdoor plants, deal with the rain.... And 2 of the tomato plants are over 5 feet tall, so not easy to move.  Strangely, the two tall plants are not the same type of tomato.  The one to the left is an Early Girl, which has multiple fruit on the vine, the other two are Big Beef plants.  The jalapeno is finally about to flower!

And I do like the rain, now that the hail has stopped. Plus, it's Colorado, so I give it a few more minutes and the storm  will move on.  And then the humidity will come back, haha.  We're not supposed to be humid, we're in a high desert climate.  But today the Midwest was way less humid than we were.  What's up with that??

And on that note, I'm going to go open all the windows again, watch some ghosty shows on YouTube and knit on my newest sock, Black Roses for Morticia.

Summer

Summer is officially here. It's even damned hot here in the foothills. Unlike a lot of the west though, we've been lucky *knock wood* We've had two small wildfires started by lightening, but both were contained the same night. Which was good, because we're tinder dry right now, after having a nice wet spring.

The good news is, my tomato plants are loving it and are flowering madly, with a few baby tomatoes on one already. The jalapeno, well, it's not as happy this year. I think we went right from too cool to too hot for it. It comes inside in the afternoon, as soon as the temp hits close to 90°.

As for me, as a result of the warm weather, the knitting has slowed down. Who wants to knit wooly things in 95° F weather? (Although I did just ball up a skein of yarn for a new pair of socks, and I also just finished another blanket square) So I've been spending a lot of my time reading. I am pretty well hooked on Cozy (though I hate the term) mysteries, as can be seen on my book blog, Give Me a Book. I have had a great time with NetGalley, getting books and reviewing them.

Sadly, this genre is being hit by major cuts. The genre is glutted. I mean, you name a subject, there's a cozy mystery based around it. Like popcorn? Yep, there's a popcorn shop mystery series. Cheese? Yeah, there was one of those too. Knitting, soap and candle making, crochet, paper making, scrapbooking, tea shops, gluten free bakeries, spice shops, the list goes on. Ever looked in the mystery section at your local bookstore? You're spoilt for choice! And even I can't read everything, haha. I certainly can afford to buy everything.

And a lot of those books are "Write for Hire," meaning that the publisher comes up with the basic idea, and the writer just fleshes it out in to a full-fledged book. So when the publisher says, "no thank you, we don't want any more" there's nothing the author can do. The author in fact, usually doesn't even write the books under their own name, think Carolyn Keene and Kathryn Kenny, of Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden fame.

No matter what, it means that some of our favorite mystery series have to go. Many contracts weren't renewed, with little to no notice, so we'll never see closure for some of these series. That makes me sad.

So I am doing my little part, asking my library to purchase the books I can't get, posting reviews on my book blog and Goodreads. Meanwhile, I've read some great books lately. And a few not so great as well, but those are few and far between.

Another star gone too soon

As I was sitting at the computer this morning, I noticed a headline about a body at Prince's Paisley Park residence, but didn't think much of it.  Then Isabel walked over to the other computer a few minutes later and the headline had changed.  "Prince found dead at Paisley Park, age 57" and I wanted to cry.  Another loss so soon in 2016.  It's been a tough year.  First Lemmy, then Bowie and shortly after, Alan Rickman.  Now Prince.  My childhood is dying, and it makes me so very sad.

Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life
Electric word life 
It means forever and that's a mighty long time
But I'm here to tell you
There's something else
The after world 
A world of never ending happiness
You can always see the sun, day or night

Spring, in the Rockies

It's April, the table garden is growing so my plants will have a jump start when it's time to put them out around the end of May.  We have a relatively short growing season here, so they start early indoors.  I just have to harden them off again before I start leaving them out all day.  I went for 3 tomato plants and a jalapeno.  All full size, indeterminate tomatoes this year, so I'm not entirely sure how well they will do in containers.

I think this year I need to dig out some old sheets to cover them with, because they're going to quickly get too tall to bring indoors when the weather gets bad. The good news is, I think the pots should be heavy enough this year that even once they are at full height, the wind won't knock them over so easily as it did with the small pots last year.

And see, this weekend's weather report is exactly why they don't go outside yet, even though Mother Nature has been giving us solid 70°F temps during the day for several weeks.  Yep, Mother Nature is having one last (we hope) tryst with Jack Frost this weekend, giving us rain, snow, ice and pure yuck.  We're being told to expect 10"-16" by Sunday morning.  It will also be a heavy, wet snow, which means it'll be a pain in the rear to shovel, so if you have an older neighbor, be kind and shovel for them!

The Teen and I will be running to the library and grocery store after school today, stocking up so we don't have to go out.  We'll just settle in and enjoy a quiet weekend (and hubby and I are on weekend #2 of crappy colds, so we don't really want to do anything anyway.  Today's the first day I've actually had the energy to even think about going anywhere, haha).

And maybe, I will finish the thumb on my first mitten this weekend.  That's the plan, anyway.  That and some Hulu and lots of reading.

Sewing, for knitting needles

the front
The front
I made my daughter a bag for all of her knitting stuff.  It doesn't fit in her locker very well, so she won't use it :(  So since I had a bit of material left and quite a bit of interfacing, I decided to make her a needle roll for her DPNs and her little circular needle.  I bought another yard of the polka dot fabric and measured out 29", then folded the material.  I lined half of the material (what would be the inside of the roll) with iron on fleece interfacing.  Then I took a piece of coordinating pink fabric and cut it to 15"x 7" and lined it as well.  I pinned that to the bottom of the inside piece, and marking lines every 1.5" or so, I sewed little pockets for needles, leaving the edges open for now and the middle unstitched, as well.

Then I cut another piece of the polka dot fabric 15" x 5.5" , lined it and lined it up on the front of the pink pocket.  I then flipped the right sides together and sewed around the entire thing with a 1/4" seam, leaving a three inch gap at the top right so I could pull everything right-side out again, poking out the corners as I went.  I then top-stitched from the top edge down to the top of the pocket to close up the hole.

backside
The backside
Then I sewed down the middle of both pockets, finishing the taller pockets and making two larger pockets for her circs, scissors, etc.

I sewed a piece of ribbon to the right side of the back of the roll, about an inch from the top of the taller pocket, and then sewed a decorative button to hide the stitching and add some fun.   The top portion folds down over the needles, roll it up, tie up the ribbon and viola!  Home for all her DPNs.
The inside
The inside










This picture shows the colors off much better, way more true than the pictures of the outside, in case y'all were wondering.  ;)