Friday, January 31, 2014

One pair done, four more to go!

So. Back to Christmas and spending the holiday in Connecticut with DS#1....
See, there's this yarn store just down the hill. The Lady E hadn't been there before. I hadn't been there before. Heck, I hadn't been in that part of Connecticut, and I've been traveling up there for 45 years! Down the hill we go to see the town, stop in the old railroad station/gift shop, stop in the yarn store. Oops. 

There was a sale on sock yarn, and we all went a little nuts. All told, I have 5 skeins to turn into socks for 4 people (DS is a little greedy, needs 2 pair).

The Lady E's socks (in transit to her)
The Lady E's yarn
Heel detail

Sock top detail

DS chose two yarns, one for regular wear and one because he wanted 'something bright'.

These are almost complete.

His bright pair, not yet started

Husbeast got into the act since it can be quite damp and cold in Louisiana winters, and of course, I had to have a pair.


Husbeast, what a color risk taker!

I certainly know how to over-commit myself, don't I?
Also while visiting up north, I finished a cowl from my handspun and it's winging it's way to a new home (not telling who gets it, it's a surprise). I'm working on another for myself because it's so nice to have something warm around your neck when traveling between warm and cold climates, which I do quite a bit. Photos of mine at a later date, when it's off the needles.

Next up, projects for the Ravellinic Games over on Ravelry. There will be spinning and knitting. Maybe I'll use one or more of the socks as a project?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Finally, I can show you the Christmas hats I made!

It has become a small tradition in my family that I make something for family members. Not everyone receives something every year, it's something that I do as the whim takes me. My biggest inspiration is DS#2 who is a bit......ummm....experimental? edgy? He has always challenged me to come up with things I thought I couldn't do. We've done Jack Skellington hats, bearded hats with interchangeable moustaches, skeleton mittens with glow-in-the-dark skeletons, a risqué Nordic hat, etc. And both sons are with lovely ladies who appreciate handmade things, so I was off and running this year.

For the Lady E, who saw me working with a certain handspun yarn over Thanksgiving and admired the colors as being 'hers', I picked up an alpaca laceweight to bring the yarn up to gauge and crocheted a nice little bucket-type hat for her snowy trip to work.

For the Lady S, who loves elephants, anything green, and hats, there's the Elephant Hat out of a washable wool blend.

And for DS#2, a little something to wear under his snowboard helmet to keep his ears warm when he's flying through the air upside-down (he wears the helmet, that's all I ask of him cause I can't control any of the other life-threatening stuff he does).

On a completely new note, I am intrigued by Husbeast's worksite down in Louisiana. It sits in the middle of a sugarcane field and the seasonal changes fascinate me, along with the construction changes of course. Remember these pix? The ones taken in November of the cane standing in the fields and being harvested? I'll include them for comparison but I took shots of the harvested fields when I was there over New Years. If you see this every day, you never notice the change, but seeing it after a 2 month absence is striking.

November 2013
January 2014

November 2013

January 2014

This is what Husbeast & Company have been building. It's a DRI facility, and it's been a long 2 years to build this. I'll leave the technical explanation out because it's too involved to explain here. Suffice to say it is a process in steel making, which is what Husbeast's company does and does very well. It's a huge site and extends down to the dock facilities on the Mississippi, where I cannot go without Federal certification that I'm approved to hang around dock facilities, so no photos of that side of the dike. I included the long shot because the construction dog was sauntering across the parking lot and she's cute.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

An adventurous holiday!

I have been away and it's been an adventure! We left town the day after my last post and spent the Christmas holiday with our oldest son and his lady. This was their first tree and I think it's exciting to have been part of their holiday; we are grateful and honored to have been invited to share their Christmas.

And then we drove home, where I tried to boot my computer only to find that it needed repairs. Called the shop that's authorized to do warranty work, dropped it off on the way to the airport on Dec. 30 and headed to New Orleans for the New Years celebrations. We stayed at a wonderful hotel, drank champagne, ate chocolate-covered strawberries, saw the musicians in Jackson Square....and then it began to rain and the wind came in off the river. So back to the hotel to celebrate indoors.

This is an immature seagull who thinks roof racks make a good roosting spot. This was taken on the exit ramp into New Orleans on New Years Eve--lots of traffic headed in to the festivities. 

Jackson Square stage
Jackson Square stage

The tree in Jackson Square. Notice the fleur de lis on top instead of a star?

Hotel exterior
Hotel lobby. Nice place, eh?

I got to the New Orleans airport on Jan. 2 bound for Pittsburgh by way of Chicago Midway Airport. The flight was late but I was assured that my connection was also late and I'd make the Pittsburgh flight. Little did I know.....

We landed in a snowstorm--these are pix of the control tower from my window seat. There's also a plane out there, one of 6-8 sitting on the tarmac because there were no gates to park us.

No control tower visible even though it's quite nearby.

See the two other airplanes?

You all heard the news reports of flights cancelled and passengers stranded--I was one of them, sleeping in airport seats, eating airport food (all that sodium!!), trying to save cell power because I'd packed my charger and checked my luggage (yeah, stupid thing to do), and standing in lines trying to get a flight to anywhere that wouldn't be cancelled yet again. I have to say that during my stay I met tons of wonderful people from Pennsylvania and Chicago. We were all in the same situation and we all helped each other and encouraged each other to stick with it, we'd get out of there some day. I finally got a flight, with Husbeast's help, back to New Orleans. I stayed there till Monday, Jan. 6 (thank goodness I keep clothing at Husbeasts apartment down there) and flew home to -27F temperatures. Took over 30 minutes to de-ice the car and get it to a temperature where my fingers didn't freeze just trying to hold the steering wheel.

It took another week before Lenovo deigned to send their technician to replace my hard drive. I've spent the past week trying to convince companies that yes, indeed, I have purchased their software, and re-installing that software when they send it. Carbonite has been wonderful in downloading all my files again and I'm grateful to them because I actually have the photos to post on this blog.

Will I fly through Chicago again? Yep! But not in the winter......