Friday, January 30, 2009

A Walk on the Tracks

On Sunday we took a little walk down the tracks. Apparently someone has either purchased or inherited the really old house down the tracks from us. Last time we went down there the place was REALLY overgrown. You could barely see the house. I wish I had a wider angle shot but with these two just image the same level of overgrowth all over the property.

Here is what it looked like yesterday. Somebody is really cleaning this place up!

And I guess one of the beaver dams either got washed out or taken apart. Here is what the area behind the beaver dam looked like last time.

Here's what it looked like this time.

And they have a new dam here.

Check out these cattails!

And these cute little feet prints in the mud!

It was a really nice walk. We have plans in the Spring to pack a lunch and some water and walk WAY down the tracks. It should be interesting!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pets in Snow

Here are a few more snow pictures for you. The pets seemed to have a great time playing around in all the cold!!

Our House

Our Neighbor's House

Our Neighbor's Barn

Petey (with his favorite toy)


Miss Willow

Kittens in Trees

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Master's Update

I have almost all of the swatches complete. The only one I have left is the color swatch and the only reason I haven't done that one yet is because I don't have any yarn that is the right blend and color. Shocking I know. The colors have to be light with no heathering or varigation. So, I have the last swatch, the hat, the remaining questions and the paper yet to go. My goal is to be DONE by the end of February and ready to send it all off. I may re-do a swatch or two depending on how they look when I go over them again. Heather kinda scared me about the seed stitch one so I may end up doing that one - UGH!!!!!

Here are the latest swatches blocking. I'm wondering if my "cable of choice" swatch is too similar to the required cable swatch. It was kind of difficult for me to find one that matched all the specifications. Heather???? What do you think O Master of the Masters Program??

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Birthday Fun

My birthday was fun!!! My husband pampered me all day and our neighbor made us a GREAT dinner!!!! Unfortunately, they both got me cakes!!!! So, guess I will just have to force myself to eat yummy cake for a while. It's funny how my name has now become Knit Witch - haha!!! The top one is the cake from Mr. Man and the bottom cake is the one from Liz. Both of them are YUMMY!

And Liz made me a cute, cute little basket full of all kinds of stuff AND this totally awesome wine bottle was in it.

AND she made a futon cover for me for our futon becausse the one that came with it was hideous.


AND she made me this cute knitting bag!!! I told her that she needs to make more so that we can put them on the website and take them with us to Stitches South.

My mom sent me a few books - including this really cool one all about my maiden name heritage - very interesting.

All in all it was a great day!!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Burnin' Down the House

Remember that song? Well, I am amazed that isn't what has happened to our place! Everytime we try to go in and improve or change something we are greeted with shoddy previous "handyman work".

Check this out. There is this weird glass light panel in our downstairs room. We always thought it was kind of bizarre so we wanted to take it down and put up some shelves. Here it is. It's just a hole cut in the wall with glass over it and a tiny light. I have no idea what the purpose is. "Decoration" I guess????

When we opened it up to see where the light was look what we found.

NICE!!!!! These are the lights.

Here is the fancy electrical work.

And LOOK what the lights were doing to the power strip!

It really scares me to think that the guy that lived here before us is a "handyman" for a living!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Remember this?

Oh yeah, that's two of the Master's Level I swatches. Once we had decided to move the program got put on the back burner when I was about halfway through. Then, one day I received my copy of Cast On in the mail and lo and behold guess who's name was in there that they had passed Level I? Oh yeah, miss fancy pants who is already almost done with Level II now. So, I figured I better get it in gear and get back to work on it. I think those are swatches 9 and 10 or 10 and 11 - something like that.

I am also blocking a couple of swatches from my hand dyed yarns.

With several others waiting in the wings to be blocked. I am hoping to have swatches of almost all of our colors by the time Stitches South rolls around - which is amazingly right around the corner!

For Christmas my mom got me a gift certificate for Knit Picks (yay mom!). So for like $2.96 I got these in the mail!

I figured the last darn thing I need in this house is more yarn (I feel certain that my husband agrees with that statement) so I opted for books. I am kind of kicking myself now for not checking the Master's list of recommended books and getting some of those books though. I didn't think about it at the time. Darn, I guess I will just have to order more books then. :)

Oh yeah - tomorrow is my birthday (I keep forgetting). I'll be 36. What should we do to celebrate?? Any suggestions?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

FO - Harvest Moon Socks

Finally! An FO! These are the socks I have been working on lately and I finally finished them up the other day. The pattern is made up by me and the yarn is hand dyed by me in the "Harvest Moon" colorway.

Um.....I don't think my toes are really as pointy as they look in the pictures.

I brought some planters in the other day to replant a couple of things we have growing. It wasn't long before the planter (full of dirt I might add) experienced a hostile take over.

Yeah, that didn't make a mess at all.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

WIP Wednesday

I cast on for a hat for the Mr. using some of my handspun. Man is it ever wonky! I think this is one of my first hand spinning attempts. I can now see the importance of ending up with a balanced yarn! My stitches tend to "lean". I told him that by the time I get done with it that the hat may look like he knit it himself. But, it will certainly serve it's purpose of keeping Mr. Man's head warm and I love the colors!

Petey must have been really tired the other day. He fell asleep while he was chewing on his bone - haha!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Are you there Spring? It's me, Knit Witch.

Yes, it's cold here. I am ready for Spring. We love being outside and doing things outside - when it's warm. When it is cold we kind of turn into hermits. Which is ok though because it gives us a chance to work on inside work on our house that we don't want to do when it is nice outside. Nature's way of giving us balance I suppose.

Our pond has been frozen for like a week.

So has our neighbor's pond.

And we had some snow.

WHOA look at ALL THAT SNOW! Look - it's the South's definition of snow, ok? People up North need not make snarky comments.......haha!

Monday, January 19, 2009

What can you do?

People around us know that we are environmentally committed folks. We really try to live our lives in an increasingly sustainable manner. I know this is important, I know that it is better for myself and the earth and I know that it takes more thought and many times it isn't the "easy way out". But, we are more than willing to make small sacrifices. We used to have our recycling picked up curbside in Atlanta - wow - that was convenient! It also got many people to recycle who normally didn't because it was so easy. Well, now we drive our recycling to the recycling place. Is it a little more of a pain in the butt? Well yeah. But it is important enough to us that we do it.

But we found THIS. It really drives home about WHY we need to live in a more sustainable manner. Our current system IS. NOT. WORKING and it will never, ever work. Consumerism is king. This video is about 15 minutes long but it is really well done, educational and explains why we need to change the way we do things. It also explains how we have gotten away from LIVING our lives! We spend so much time working - it's nuts.

So, in light of this video - what can YOU do to help drive your own life to a more sustainable place? Many of you probably already do a lot but pick one or two more little things that you are willing to change in your own life or teach someone else about. Tell me about some things that you already do too! I always like getting more ideas. Here is our list.

What we already do:
- Recycle everything we can
- Reuse instead of buy (from ourselves or via others)
- Try and fix things instead of just going out and buying new things
- Build things out of recycled, recycleable and/or non-toxic materials
- Take care of our little piece of land by not polluting it and keeping our water sources clean
- Use almost no chemicals for cleaning our home - mostly vinegar based things
- Conserve energy - put on a sweatshirt instead of turning up the heat, turn out lights, use CFLs
- Try to buy locally and American (especially fresh foods)
- Use recycled material (shredded paper from newspaper/junkmail/etc.) as packing material for our products
- Buy our supplies from American companies that are committed to buying locally and/or fair trade practices as much as possible
- Grow our own stuff - I would love to get to the point where at every meal we can say that 75% of what is on our plate - we grew ourselves
- Compost
- We are conscious about chemicals/hormones/junk that are so prevalent in today's food sources and we try to avoid those as much as possible - really, read the labels - it's amazing what we put into our bodies!!

What I am committed to start doing:
- Making our own laundry soap
- Start planning for solar energy for our home (we have the PERFECT set up for this)
- Start planning an aquaponics garden
- Continue to find more eco-friendly products to carry in our business
- EDUCATE others - I would love to get involved with teaching others about simple things they can do to make their own life, other's lives and the earth healthier
- Keep knitting and spinning!!! I love that I can make things for us that keeps us from buying something commercially and will help keep us warmer to lower energy costs!
- Spend more time in the evening reading or doing other projects around the house

It is MLK day today. Martin Luther King Jr. was committed to a life of service to his community. We are all a part of many different communities in our daily lives. I also want to be better about remembering that I am a part of a community and find some ways to spend more time contributing to that community.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Always a good time

See.....out here in the country we have to make our own fun. Here's another little gun story for ya.

When we first moved in here we did a lot of cleaning up. A LOT of cleaning up. This place was trashed - literally. We must have picked up a thousand beer bottle tops, lots of beer bottles and just general trash all over the yard. We had to get one of those construction dumpsters delivered to get rid of it all. Ick.

But, one day Wayne was cleaning out the handyman shed and tucked up in the rafters he found a brand spanking new, still in the box, .22 rifle. FUN! Of course we loaded it up and tried it out. I love this thing! It is so easy to shoot.

Last weekend we put up all the pets, set up some targets and shot the gun off of the second story porch. EXACTLY! How fun is that?!?!?!

Of course we had a blast with it and my son had a great time. There is no danger of shooting anything or anyone on the back of our property (unless of course you shouldn't be there in the first place in which case I don't feel bad about shooting you at all) as we are extremely careful about gun safety. Lots of people target practice on their property around here (as you already know from yesterday's post). This is not something you can do living in Atlanta really. Here are the results: fun. If we ever get ambushed by milk cartons - we should be fine.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Another country story for ya

A couple of days ago Wayne went and got in the hot tub. Now normally at the end of the day I go with him and we have a glass of wine. But for some reason I didn't go (I think I was putting up roving in a mad dash to beat the cats to discovering it). So he went out there alone with his glass of wine.

I start hearing some people on the property across the road from us target practicing - probably with a .22. No big deal. Then all the sudden I hear my husband out there screaming 'HEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY - WATCH WHERE YOU'RE SHOOTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!". I'm like - what???

I go out there to see what is going on. Wayne says that a bullet went JUST by his head!!!! Now this is someone that was in the first Gulf War - he knows what it sounds like when a bullet goes right by your head. Based on where it went - it probably would have hit me had I been sitting out there with him. Boy was I PISSED!!!!!!!!!!!! Woooooo WEEEEEEEEE I was hoppin' mad.

Now, I'm a firm believer that, as parents, we are here to teach our kids how to not act stupid. And that dosen't go for just MY kids - I mean kids in general. My husband grew up in the days where other parents were free to discipline you for acting stupid. Then they called your mom to tell her how stupid you were acting. Then you got disciplined at home by your mom for acting stupid somewhere else which rightfully had resulted in your discipline from another parent. Then she said "You just WAIT until your father gets home". Then your dad found out what had happened while he was at work and then HE got to discipline you again. Ahhhhhhh........those were the good 'ol days.

Anyways, I marched myself inside and picked up the car keys - I was going over to the property across the street to give somebody a piece of my mind. Of course when Wayne saw my state of being he thought it best to accompany me. So off we went on our little adventure.

Turns out (as suspected) that it was a couple of kids - like 10 and 15 - over there shooting. Nice, just turn your kids loose with a gun. It wasn't even their property!! So we read them the riot act. Mr. Military asked them if they happened to have been taught ANYTHING about gun safety. I told them the next time I heard a shot from over there they were going to get picked up by the cops and visit the pokey. I think we scared them pretty good - you know, letting them know they almost just murdered someone and all - and we haven't heard a single shot from over there since.

So, my dear readers, the moral of the story is - if you are going to go out and shoot your gun, don't aim it at the crazy people across the street.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A common thread?

Those of you who know me know that I might be just a teensie weensie bit anal about cleaning. Which, I find kind of humorous as I look around our house. This place is by NO MEANS museam quality clean - I mean - it looks like people live here and stuff but it certainly isn't dirty either. My general rule is that I like to keep our home so that someone can drop by any 'ol time and things look reasonably presentable to company.

There is always plenty of disarray around here though - I live with a handyman. But, I'm not complaining about things being in disarray from him working on projects in the house. I can't tell you how lucky we are (or how much money we have saved for that matter) because he can do so much stuff around our house. Weirdly, I'm not nuts about the house STAYING clean. I don't clean with the expectation that things are going to remain pristine, it's just something that needs to be done. It's a good thing too because..........

Pottery room/yarn room in major transition - check
Wonderful porch overlooking our pond turned into a woodworking studio - check
Upstairs bedroom still packed with boxes waiting on shelving to be built - check
Sewing room full of a new disassembled shower waiting to go live in the bathroom - check
Front porch full of pottery making stuff - check
Dye kitchen looking like someone does a lot of dyeing in there - check

However, I still feel the need to sweep the house. Every. Single. Day. I have, however, promised my husband that the first day that I sweep and don't get up 1/2 pound of animal hair -- I will quit sweeping everyday. It hasn't happened yet. Mr. Man does SO MUCH around here for us I guess I just kind of see keeping the house clean as "my thing" that I do for our home. I love cleaning because I just think about how fortunate we are to have this wonderful home to take care of - so I never see it as a burdon at all.

And, I am an organizational addict. My business records are an accountants dream (all records are filed by month and paperclipped in date order). I love lists. I love checking things off of lists. I love Excel and have designed this fancy-schmancy spreadsheet for all our business transactions and ordering that does all kinds of calculations and let's you look at things a zillion different ways. My favorite store in the world is Staples. Seriously. I received an order from them yesterday and one of the things I ordered was magazine holders. I spent time organizing some of my knitting magazines by title and date. See?

I'm fairly certain that I drive my husband nuts.

So, what's my point in telling you all of this? Well, I'm not sure other than as I talk to other knitters it seems a large number of this have these OCD qualities. Not necessarily about cleaning, maybe about other stuff. Let's see how true it is - confess all your OCD qualities right here on my blog.
Let's hear it.