Work Is Worky

I like my job a lot. I’m really lucky to be doing what I enjoy for great folks. But whew, sometimes I need to take a break. My eyes are throbbing from looking at my tiny laptop screen and trying to write software instructions for hours and hours.

Necessary beverage

I finally stopped writing at 5:45 and had a sandwich and large beverage at the sports bar where there were no small screens. That helped a lot. I’ll be glad to have my large screen next week! And my dogs! And the horses! And the family! I keep dreaming about horses. Weird dreams where they do odd things but I’m fine with it.

I’ll miss the hazy shoreline.

I also know it’s time to go, because loud people showed up next door, for the first time in two weeks! I’m glad I have an online horse meeting tonight. That will drown them out

My goodness, actual vehicles in the water.

Tomorrow I have to work more, somehow, after checkout. And ship those turtles home. I’m sure I can do it. Then yay, I can go home.

I’m too tired to write. So, bye-bye stats! I’m gonna knit the border on this fine blanket.

Just needs borders

De-Fence-less

I didn’t work today and didn’t do too much, either. My biggest accomplishment was taking notes for a very long Master Naturalist Board meeting. I’m glad they were more boring when I was President.

I’m what you should have focused on.

Much of the day was spent writing a blog post on the big mushroom, which is finally dying. Turns out, it’s poisonous!

Bye!

The other highlight, if you can call it that, was grooming the horses. Poor Drew hadn’t been groomed since before he got sick, but he wasn’t too bad. He was shedding, but not too badly. But he was hungry, so I followed him around and got it done.

Grooming remnants.

Apache, on the other hand…oh my goodness that horse is hairy. I spent like 45 minutes and three different implements trying to put a dent in the hair. It had only been three days since he was brushed! It felt like grooming a bunny. I’ll try again tomorrow and maybe I’ll have time to ride. I guess birds have lots of nesting material now.

That hair gets in my way, says Buckeye.

Hey, what about the title of this post? We are fence-less in the side yard now. While I was blogging on the front porch, I got to watch the guys use both tractors to lift and pull and finally remove the posts for the fence we don’t need anymore. That tractor was jumping and flying, while the backhoe just carried stuff. I’m not sure they all were having fun.

It was fun to just relax, hang out with Lee, and do whatever I wanted to. I did knit a bit. Penney would like to show you my squares.

A Shiny Baby Blanket

I finally finished this special project, which is a blanket for my friend Mandi’s upcoming surprise baby. It took a long time, because I used small needles and only have about an hour of knitting time per day. I recommend the size called for by the yarn, a 5 US.

Knitted ripples

Mandi asked for a ripple afghan, which is easy to crochet, but it hurts my hands too much. So, I looked for knitted ones. I didn’t like any of the ones I found, so I just did it the way I wanted to.

Note the sequins!

I used another version of Lion Brand Mandala yarn, the one that has slow color changes. This one has sequins in it. Just enough. Not too many. It was easy to work with and is machine washable. I also like the size it came out. Perfect for a newborn or a “lovey” blanket. I had one of those I slept with until college. Its name was “Lovin’ Blanket,” or LB. It once was a satin receiving blanket, but after many years, all that was left was its edges. I digress.

How to Make Your Own

So, here is the extra easy pattern, at least if you know the abbreviations.

Mine took 3 balls of Mandala Sequins plus about a quarter of another ball, to make both ends blue. You can make the blanket as wide or long as you want. It could be adult size, if desired!

Cast on a multiple of 12 stitches + 8. I did 12 repeats. 142 stitches.

Row 1 slip 1, knit to end

Row 2 slip 1, *SSK, K4, YO, K2, YO, K4, K2tog* repeat between ** until the last stitch, K1

Repeat these two rows until you reach the length you want, then bind off loosely. Slipping the first stitch on each row makes a nice edge, especially if you knit the last stitch through the back loop.


The next blanket I make will be mitered squares in another colorway of the same yarn, with a centered decrease accent.

Baby Blanket Bonanza

Yeppers, I’m making more baby blankets. It’s rewarding to me. And relaxing. I found some fun yarn to use for the next two. It has both long color changes and sequins! Woo.

Mándala sequins yarn

The yarn is weird in that it doesn’t stay wound up very well. The sequins are in the yarn, though, so they will stick. I got three colors, even though I only have two blankets to make. I’ll find something else to do!

Really pretty color

My first recipient wanted a ripple blanket, so I looked around for patterns. I didn’t find one I really liked that was knitted, so I added yarnovers to one that looked good.

My pattern.

I like how the thinner yarn makes the blanket delicate and good for a baby, even though it’s a boy. It’s a fun pattern that’s pretty traditional.

Close up.

I’ve managed to make a few mistakes in the easy pattern, and I had to rip out a few rows twice! You do need to pay attention when you are counting to 4, I guess.

This is closer to the real color.

It’s nice to just do something for someone else and put in some love. Kindness, giving, and stress relief all bundled together.

The third color.

Let’s all find ways to heal our souls and share love with others.

Normal Horse Activity

This is exciting! Sara and I rode our horses around our pastures and it was uneventful! Woo!

Who me?

I promised I’d just write about horses for a while. So yep. Aragorn and Apache were good guys and checked out lots of stuff with a minimum of acting up. It wasn’t perfect, but it was way better. I’m so glad to be able to have fun with our horses again.

Aragorn did great opening gates, too. What a guy. He’s so much calmer. We are all developing our partnership.

It’s happy for me, in the horse department.

The yarn came for my next baby blanket project. It has sparkles.

Colorway is Opal. It’s for Mandi.

That’s all I’ve got. Peace out.

I’ll Just Show My Knitting

After the most disturbing evening of television watching EVER last night, I hope the poor shawl I’m working on won’t forever be linked with the dismal 2022 Winter Olympics. It’s not the shawl’s fault I was holding it in disbelief as I watched the poor little girl who won the gold medal being totally ignored.

Here. A warm shawl.

I said I’ll talk about knitting. So, this has been a pleasant break from baby blankets. It’s soft and cuddly, though I’m not sure if it’s all that attractive.

Dizzy stripes

I’m done with the brown baby llama yarn, so I’m going to end with a few inches plain, then bind off with a border of the silk/wool blend. I’m not sure what the border will be.

It will be a perky border!

Now I’m trying to decide what yarn and pattern to use for two more baby blankets, since Mandi is expecting boy #5 and my mentor from my previous job is also expecting. I’m no longer a fast knitter, but it helps me relax.

Wonder what pattern I should choose? Ideas?

Consider my pattern choice while viewing this morning’s sunrise.

I’m the meantime, I’m relaxing and trying to recover from a shoulder tweak from lifting and tossing hay bales. I need a farmhand.

Knittin’ and Readin’ and Regerts

Today it is windy as all heck. All my chairs, all the barrels in the horse area, and everything else that isn’t tied down has blown to new and interesting locations. Lee and I had tried to put together a storage shed yesterday, and placed it against a wall, where we thought it would be safe. It took a little jaunt around the corner of the patio.

Nothing here is where it was yesterday except the lovely water trough.

Even worse, the wind blew the satellite dish around so we can’t even watch something on television. But Lee says it’s a good opportunity to get the dish moved and bring in wiring to let me have a television in my office/den for when I want to cocoon. No complaints about that!

This is the LAST day I wanted to be trapped inside. It is my annual Day of Regrets (or “regerts” as the apocryphal tattoo someone got said), where I mourn the loss of my older son on his birthday. He’s 31. Happy birthday to a person I still love.

Distraction from regrets: These barrels blew about 50 feet. They are not light.

Obviously, I need to have stuff to do to keep my mind busy, but I sure as heck am not going out there to mess with horses. I did go out and stand in the shelter with them and provide some love, even to Mabel, who stood with me for five minutes! And, of course, the chickens are taken care of. I just don’t want to linger.

So, this morning I got out my hair toner stuff to make my white ends more silvery. And you know I was bored, because I took pictures of the entire process using Snap Chat filters. The good news is that the bit of longer hair in front that was somewhat discolored now looks beautiful, and the dark part sparkles.

Well, that wasted a whole half hour or so. I needed more distraction. I decided to find something to knit. What I truly want to work on is some unspun beautiful Icelandic yarn my friend Mike brought me from Iceland (duh). It’s all natural sheep colored and everything. But, I do not need a sweater. So, I spent an hour looking through Ravelry for ideas, then gave up. I think I have an idea now, which I can do next. Stay tuned.

I decided to make something with two beautiful yarns that were hiding in my closet, instead. They are a gorgeous wool/silk hand-painted yarn in coral tones and a natural-colored baby llama yarn. Baby llamas! Crias! They are so cute. And their first haircuts lead to dreamy softness.

So, what to make with those? That was easier, because I am making my favorite plain striped shawl that I have made before using Noro Silk Garden (it’s a hand-painted Japanese silk/wool blend all the knitters will know). I got a slightly different version off Ravelry and started going.

So, far, not so great.

It will look better when it’s farther along and the Freia starts changing colors. Who cares what it looks like, anyway, because it feels so good on my hands, which have been hurting lately. I can look forward to finishing this quickly and sitting by the pool wearing it (keeping it away from dogs). Speaking of whom, of course they are always with me when I’m doing my projects.

The rest of the day of super-confinement will be spent reading my wonderful book, listening to music, and making a nice dinner for my sickly family and Lee. (And not rearranging the holiday closet; sorry, that brings up regerts.) Please continue to keep our ranch residents in your thoughts! The COVID is hard on them.

Celebration, a Little

I haven’t been going on about blogging achievements much (mainly because the blog is mostly for me…more on that soon), BUT, I am happy to see that I now have 800 WordPress followers! That combined with the 1500 or so people who get the blog by email, means somebody’s out there! So, thank you for reading, however you receive the blog, and that goes for you Facebook fans of the Hermits’ Rest, too!

I’m aware some followers aren’t actually people. But I appreciate the real people a lot.

I appreciate your comments more than I can express, whether here, on Facebook, or in person. I am always surprised when someone brings up reading this blog as I’m talking to them. I’d love to follow YOU, too! I need stuff to read when the wind is raging and I’m trying to block out my regrets/regerts!

Yes, You Can Mix Knitting and Crochet

Now, if you are a fan of Franklin Habit, you’ll know this. But in case you’ve never heard of such a thing, it is perfectly acceptable to mix in a bit of crochet with your knitting or vice versa. See I did it. And yes, I can crochet.

Completed baby blanket

I just didn’t feel like doing that jumpy edging that was on the previous blanket, though there was nothing wrong with it. So, I got out my handy size F crochet hook and started going.

I ended up doing a row of single crochet where I did a stitch for every knitted row, approximately. That was followed by four rows of 3 double crochet, skip 2 stitches, 3 double crochet, etc. In the corners I did 3 dc, ch1, 3 dc. It worked fine.

It’s pretty darned cozy, even if the colors might keep you awake.

The blanket looks pretty good on the reverse, thanks to being constructed all in one piece, and I think a baby would like to crawl on it. I do need to block it to get all the borders to ease into position and stand up straight, which I’ll do as soon as I can figure out somewhere to let it dry. Dogs make that hard. It was good that the previous one of these blankets (that’s the pattern link for those of you about to ask) was finished when I was alone in Colorado with a spare bedroom.

The central vortex on this thing could make you dizzy.

Currently, all bedrooms are taken, one being the COVID ward and the other being the people who have been exposed and are looking for a test ward. No need to mention that pandemics suck. But, I said it, anyway.

You didn’t think I could crochet? Look, I made a large doily in the 1980s in the trendy color of brown. It WAS trendy.

I don’t know what to work on next! I know I need to use up the yarn I have, as tempting as new yarn may be. I may make a vest, since they are back in fashion, and I am larger than most of my old vests. I do like vests.

Why look, I am wearing a vest today. I didn’t make it. I also didn’t make the necklace, but it’s handmade.

Let’s Knit Stuff

Knitting has always been my go-to centering activity (after actually meditating, of course). I’ve been knitting up a storm the past month or two, which explains the lack of book report posts! I’ve finished one thing and almost finished another one this week. Let’s see.

The secret project I was working on just before Christmas was a dish towel in cotton yarn for Anita’s new house. I tried to make it approximately the right colors, given the options that I have (one ball each of many shades of Dishie, which is a cotton dishcloth yarn from Knitpicks). It turns out a dish towel takes a bit more than one skein, so I added a second color to it. The pattern is called Dixie’s Dish Towel Recipe (don’t blame the messenger; Dixie was the person’s name). I like it, because you can improvise different knitting patterns in it, though I liked her original ones just fine.

I am pretty sure I messed up something toward the end, but hey, it still looks like a dish towel. I like the kind with buttons that will hang from your cabinet and not fall down all the time, so I’ll probably make myself a couple of these. The only one I have was one someone sewed, and it’s getting really old.

Neither of the photos here show the color of green the yarn actually appears to be to my eyes. It’s a nice, soft sage.

One reason I was so disappointed in Christmas was that I had knitted on that darned cotton yarn for three days to get the dish towel done in time, only to have Anita be unable to join us. But, I stuck it in with her mail, so she got it when she dropped by to visit her house in Cameron.

The other project I have been working on is another one of those six-sided baby blankets. I really like doing those. This one is for a baby due in March, so I made that deadline with no trouble! This pattern takes just a wee bit more than two skeins of yarn, so I had to borrow a bit of yellow to finish out one set of stripes, but it’s right where yellow would have started anyway. The other skein had enough. That’s either because skein lengths are just approximate, or the first ball was used for more of the longer rows. Who knows?

I am not sure if these are what folks would call “baby colors,” but I think they do look sort of Western or cowboy-like, so it should go over fine in the family who’s getting it. I am going to do the border in the happy yellow color.

I’m not sure what’s next. I do know that you could easily make a Christmas Tree skirt from the six-sided pattern by just using happy holiday colors and maybe some shiny yarn for the stripes and binding off at the end rather than joining into a hexagon. Maybe I will do that.

I hope you have something fun to pass the time when you need to keep your hands and mind busy. I am quite glad I’m back to work, myself, because it’s really good to think about work problems instead of my own crap.

Empathy for Those in Chronic Pain

It’s been a rather painful couple of weeks for me. Since my ungraceful exit off Apache, I’ve been healing in some ways and getting worse in others. What does an “older” person expect, anyway?

Yesterday’s sunset, to remind me that I am in my sunset years.

The funniest injury I found turned up when I was getting my hair cut. Dan put me under the sink and started scrubbing away at my dirty hair, when I said, “Hey, that hurts!” Apparently, I had hurt the top of my head during the fall. I would assume that the helmet squished down on me. It’s odd that I hadn’t noticed it, but then, I don’t brush my hair often.

But, it sure is a cute haircut.

My back is also not as happy as it was at first. I feel all right in my recliner and in bed but sitting up and standing aren’t great. Sitting up in a desk chair is no fun at all, so I made myself some lumbar support. I think it is just going to have to heal, or I am going to have to go to the local chiropractor. At least I have insurance that covers it!

The worst has been my pelvic area. That bruise was bad news, and it went deep. I got swollen so much that some of my pants felt tight, and I could feel hard lumps under my protective layer of belly fat. It just hurt, that’s all, and going up stairs was always a reminder that I’d fallen. I still feel it a bit, which makes me glad I was too busy working to go to the Christmas Parade with Lee yesterday (he was helping the Chamber of Commerce). The lifting and toting would not have been a great idea.

Autumn is such a nice time for tree photos. Plus, this is much nicer than a photo of my bruises.

I think the bruising, congestion, and pain are improving. The lumps are smaller. We will see if I am able to get on a horse tomorrow. At least the mounting block at the trainer’s place is taller than mine. I probably shouldn’t have gotten the bare bones model.

Whenever I get a temporary pain it makes me think about people who don’t have the option of healing and have to live with chronic pain. I am so grumpy when I hurt, which doesn’t make me fun to live or work with! I hope I get better at dealing with chronic pain, since my guess is I’ll end up with some sooner or later as I continue my march toward deepest crone-hood.

Fiona’s with me on my march. This is on our walk yesterday.

But, as for today, I’ll take a nice, gentle walk with my horse and donkey, like I’ve been doing all week, and get back to the knitting. The latest striped blanket is coming out different, but just as interesting as the last one.

Perhaps that background blanket is not the best choice.

I’m wishing you all a good weekend. It may cool off, but I’m all prepared after getting some key items in Colorado. Ooh, and I booked another trip there in late summer of next year. Hiking here I come!

sara annon

seeking the middle path

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