Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Belated B

They definately do not ever never, go in these:

Or these, the summer version:

Or even in the 'dress-up' summer version. (If you see these at TSC, do NOT buy them. The sun won't heat your feet up as in the regular summer boots above, but they will also not last more than 2 weeks. These must be the Martha Stewart version, meant to look good but have someone else do the actual work.)
No, no. These go here with butt in chair and feet up on stool, being admired by passerbys forced to stop yet again and admire them.

Want a closer look?

When Lisa was last with us here at chez critters, she pulled a sample out she'd been busily knitting on to show me. I was really liking the color, thought it knit up really cool in such & such pattern she was using. She looked at me as if I'd grown another head, and told me "well YOU dyed it!!". Hmm. thinks I. Really? But it looks so... awesome! I did THAT? I'm still surprised when I knit something I've dyed and it not only actually works like regular ol' yarn when 2 sticks are applied, but looks good doing it (the project, not my ass), I'm surprised.
So anyways, when I opened the package from Lisa and saw the socks, I turned to Eric and told him "if Lisa tells me that I dyed that, I'm making a dr's appt for myself because something is seriously wrong with my brain to not remember the absolute most amazing colors." And plus, it's REALLY shiny.
Well, thankfully, my brain cells such as they are, are not failing me. I do not remember it, because I did not dye it (score one for the brain). Astrid did!! How cool is this, that the dyer dyes yarn for the knitter making socks for her OTHER dyer friend. You need to totally check out her etsy shop. Run, don't walk - er, type asap because she is all about the awesome, bold colors. Not only that, but the shiney part? This is bamboo blend yarn. The colorway is Bamboo Forest and the pattern is being called 'You Jane'. So we have my yarn, off to Astrid, dyed and snatched away by Lisa, back to me where it originated. Wickedly awesome circle, I must say. She has more of it there for sale, you should clean her out of stock. (How many of you are there, anyways?)
So anyways, these totally awesome socks are mine as part of a belated birthday present that also included 2 of the totally new Harmony needles from knitpicks in size 1's. Lisa has a gift coming from me as well, and no I didn't go to another designer and ask for a sock pattern for Lisa. I xxxxxxxx and xxxx some lovely xxxxx in very nice colors of xxxx xxxxx and xxxx. It's interesting to xxxx the xxxx because I don't get time to do that much anymore. It's part of a small xxxx that got started on xxxxxxxx, though it's been a few, I hope she remembers that! Because of the 'when are you coming' question, I put off sending her gift longer than she held off on mine, and so it's here.
If there's a fire here, I'm going back for my hand-knit socks.
Oh, and btw. Please note there are indeed 2, count em' 2 socks in the picture. 2 feet, 2 socks. Lisa can indeed finish a PAIR of socks.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Hey, whatcha looking for?

Have you found my contact lense yet? Keep looking!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Jennifer has potential, but has problems following directions...."

.... says more teacher comment/report cards than I care to discuss from my stay in public institutions.

(Pat, thank you for the positive thoughts on my knitting. This post, is dedicated to you. Enjoy.)
So I have a friend in Michigan who has the loveliest Icelandic sheep in 48 states and 3 countries. And the best smelling as well, she has a lavender farm. Go look, I'll wait. See what I mean? Anyways, she knits these wonderful felted hats, large brim, fancy shmancy - she puts great buttons or effects on them etc. Anyways, I wanted to be that talented and so she graciously shared the directions. They were straightforward. I could so do this. I got yarn, I got needles, and I started following directions. Well, sorta. You see, I had the same yarn she used with awesome results but just wanted to knit a 'test hat' so I got guage using 3 strands of 'Car Cozy' (which still needs a new name chosen - I haven't forgotten). No problem.

Now, I've knit felted hats in the past, lots actually (but just your basic rolled brim hat felted with not much brim or shaping) with no problems. So, when I started reading the cast/on number I was stunned. It was way more than I expected. It couldn't possibly be right. I cast on the smallest number for the smallest size, and started knitting. This was huge. I looked ahead in the pattern and saw all sorts of directions that made no sense including increases and decreases in places that really shouldn't matter. Obviously I was going to have to edit things. My friend must have misunderstood what pattern I was wanting. So, on about row 15, I started decreasing down to the largest size of MY pattern I usuually made, hoping to salvage this hat. I have also in the past started my decrease point a bit to early, so I used the pattern direction for 'guidance' on how many rows to knit before beginning the decreases for the crown. I noted that the decrease/crown rows in the pattern were also sadly bizarre and obviously not going to produce the desired hat shape and so I skipped that as well, and used my own good judgement on that section as well.

So without further ado Pat, I give you my felted hat.

Here it is after knitting. The marker is for scale, it's a regular ol' whiteboard marker. The color changes look better felted, that's expected.

It seems a bit big to me, but the hat was supposed to have more brim than the ones I normally knit, and felting solves a lot of problems... right?

I somehow couldn't find the next picture this morning, (lost to the laptop crash) but suffice it to say that it came out of the wash flat. Like a frisbee, flat. No 'hat' shaping at all. Pancake. So, I took some of the gray yarn used to knit it, and pinched in four corners and felted it again.

It does look a little better in person, I felted it again and used it at Rhinebeck to display cobweb weight yarn skeins. That picture is missing as well... oh well.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Search Words

So thankfully, not much in the way of folks finding this blog looking for beautiful ice land ic gi rls anymore (sorry for the spaces but we don't want to start those searches again, now do we).

However, a consistant number of folks search and find this blog by way of children and medicine, so here goes.

"four year old taking cough medicne"
"tylenol or motrin for fever in kids"
"four year old can't keep cough medicine down"

you get the picture.

Here's my advice for those of you searching. Robitussin cough syrup works. Triaminic night time cold and cough really isn't just for nighttime, nor does it make my daughter sleepy since they changed out the old pseudoephedrine for phenylephrine. It seems to counteract the diphenhydramine HCI (benadryl) in the med. It is prob. the easiest for her to drink straight. Try bribing with a half stick of kit kat (for pete's sake don't give them the whole stick or the whole package - they don't need it.
If they can't keep the vile tasting and revolting medicine down, try spiking their O.J. however, don't lie. They know it's in there, so just put it in with a couple of oz not a whole glass. No sense prolonging the torture by forcing a whole glass of 'wrong' tasting O.J. Do not mix it with jello, it's gross. period.
If they can't keep it down, it could be the gag reflex from the amount of sugar/sweetener combined with the revolting flavor, try the O.J.
If it's coming back up several min. later, get them to eat first. Risk of more to clean up, but less risk overall if their stomach isn't shocked by the sweetener/meds. Crackers. Maybe some peanut butter on them.

Tylenol vs. Motrin. Motrin. Definately. It lasts 6 hours, tylenol only goes the distance for 4. If you want to swap them out, use the motrin at night.

Keep notes. jot down the fever temp, the time and the meds you give out. you may need it if you go to the doctor, because you may be short on brain cells/sleep by then.

Questions in the middle of the night? Some local hospitals have an ask-a-nurse, some insurance companies have them. Find out who does before kids get sick so you already know who you might call for advice including dosing advice when multiple meds are needed.

Good Luck!

Ok, back to our regularly scheduled program. If you'll excuse me, it's Thanksgiving in a couple of days and I really ought to plan something or we'll be having hotdogs.


Colleen makes an excellent point about homeopathic remedies and their use. In fact, I totally forgot to mention my love for a product called zicam. Even my daughter will use the nasal swabs, because they don't smell AT ALL, and face it. Kids like to stick things in their noses. At least this one is supervised, and it stops a cold and the symptoms pretty durn fast. Love me some zicam nasal swabs! See some on sale? Pick me up a box.
Also, husband swears by the Airborne product, I picked them up for him a few weeks ago. He's feeling like they work, and he's pretty dubious of such hocus pocus things. My daughter will not take that product though, even the childs version Pixie something. We tried one, she ate some of it, but then said it was 'spicy'. And wouldn't touch it. It's not meant for water though, it's just a powder you pour on your tongue. She opted to 'dip' her spoon in it instead. Oh well. Off to drink my echinacea tea (DUH- another one) made by Traditional Medicinals. I've used several of their teas with great success for other things.

Thanks Colleen!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Answers etc.

Gretchen - this post is for you, I cannot reply to your comment regarding the sheep's milk soap, please email me directly at jennifer at nysfarm dot com and I'll answer all your quesitons, because it is slightly different than making goat's milk soap.

Thank you miss Tsarina, I was hoping to avoid the obvious 'I'm a dork' thing with the truck... it was low on water/antifreeze 'stuff'. That's what happens when you overheat. I was so focused on the fact that the vehicle leaks oil and that problem = oil, I neglected to actually apply a brain cell to the actual problem. Overheating = radiator, not oil.. Now, I wonder if there are any problems from having more than the required amount of oil in a vehicle?

Still recovering (ever the optimist) from the strep/bronchitis thing. Taking WAY less cold meds & codiene... not sure what I'm going to use for an excuse now for my dork attacks though.

Have attempted knitting something again, it's a bit chilly for a dip in the frog pond but you can't leave crap on the needles forever so I'm back to staring at balls of yarn. Am I the only one here who finds it ironic to have basically, a stash registering in the triple digits in POUNDAGE (even if most of it is undyed) but who is unable to knit a single project successfully, other than knit hats that are NOT felted (that's another blog post all by itself.)? And, on a slightly different thought on the knitting idea, what do you call it when there are so many things you want to knit that you do not cast on any of them at all but instead have anxiety issues because of all the things you want to knit?
I want to have some of that 'mindless knitting' to do while waiting for the water to boil etc. I seem to be the black hole of mindless though (let's think about THAT one for a moment, shall we?). All those times your knitting and you feel like you've measured, gotten 11 inches of knitting, knit a bazillion rows in 3 hours and still have only 11 inches, it's my fault. All of the stitches you've knit got sucked into the black hole, and ended up here to be part of a frogged project. You knit them, I try to knit anything and end up frogging your stitches. Sorry.
The knitting issue here is getting pretty sad really. Recently I've even managed to screw up knitting in the round on round 1. C/O 12 stitches, divide onto dpn, knit 1 row. At the end of row 1, I had 13 stitches. And I didn't just carry the yarn over the needle at one of the 'corners', and yes I started with 4 stitches each on 3 needles I counted them twice, and I could not find an increase stitch. I'm just lucky this way. Being as how casting on dpn's is annoying, I knit the next round and k2tog. I've made it half way through that pattern now, and it resembles the picture in no way shape or form. pictures later when batteries are charged.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


On Friday, I had several errands to run. Post office, Bank, feed-mill... basic run of the mill (get it? mill?) stuff. Anyways, I'm driving 'old blue' right now, the farm truck. In every sense of the phrase 'farm truck'. Ol' Blue is a chevy, she's old, and she's ugly. I've had other farmers get a ride in ol blue and exclaim "wow! this really IS a farm truck!"
The passenger side door does not open from the inside, and the purty blue vinyl covering is gone, leaving the polite but obviously cardboard frame cover of the door exposed. The window also is stuck, thankfully mostly up but leaving year-round fresh air (and rain, and snow) through the 1/2 inch gap at the top.
The driver side door, not only is missing the vinyl cover as well, but is also missing the polite cover the passenger door still maintains. The only way the driver side door opens from the inside, is to give a practiced downward tug on the heavy guage wire that's been knotted around the door jimmie-thing as an anchor. The window is the bane of my driving existance. It falls. straight down with a thump if you hit a bump just right. It no longer startles me onto the shoulder of the road, but it's annoying. In the rain and the snow. Thankfully, that purty cover is missing, so you can actually LIFT the window back into position and put the complex holding mechanism back in place. The mechanism? 2 x 4 cut at an angle and wedged between the bottom of the window and the bottom of the door. Oh, and if the bump in the road doesn't bring the window down, it will jar the door loose, leaving it in that 1/2 closed place car doors go to when you don't close them with enough 'oomph'. So, you do occasionally find yourself performing the following maneuver:
hit bump, jar door (see new draft, rain and snow).
practiced twist and pull of opening lever to open door slightly, and slam closed in an upwards motion to attempt to FINALLY get it tight enough to stay closed.
Pull over to fix window because you slammed the door hard enough to drop the window.
Repeat at next bump in the road.
The tailgate closes VERY tightly. Probably because it's bent. To get it open, my hubby can give it a swift tug, but he's taller and strong than I am. I have to climb into the back of the truck via the hitch (bumper? what bumper?) and kick it open, coincidentally making my muck boots really and true, 'shxx-kickers'.
The plow on the front end works just fine though. And if you need to go somewhere and the plow is attached, please remember to lift it back UP into place periodically as the hydrolics don't quite hold anymore, and you'll eventually be plowing the state roads for the county.
The radio works, and the heater works, and with those 2 things (and the complex holding mechanism for the window), I can go anywhere in my farm truck.

Except apparently, to the post office, bank, and feed mill. You see, I have to be back in time for the school bus. The truck overheated on the side of the road, roughly 4 miles from home... and 4 miles from town. Take your pick. I opted for town because there was a propane company 1/2 way there and I could at least use the phone. I had 2 hours, no problem.
Did I mention the 36 degree day with blowing snow occasionally? Anyways, thankfully a neighbor I knew (ok, I recognized the truck better than I recognized him) stopped and picked me up. Took me to town, I bought oil (the truck leaks oil - did I mention that? Husband says "any problems, add oil.") and he took me back to the truck. Dropped me off. I could not get the hood open. Did I mention, that to get the hood to open, you need to pull on the cord attached to the latch under the hood that kinda hangs out from under the hood? Made of telephone cable?
Couldn't open hood. 1 1/2 hours left. Took the chance, truck engine had cooled off and I drove home slowly. Stopped at a friend's farm, no one home. Stopped at another friend's farm, no one home. 2 more farms? oh ya, no one home. Where the heck are all the freakin' farmers who farm for a living?? Oh ya... deer season.
Now as I pulled back in the driveway having accomplished none of my tasks, but in time for the bus (which was all that really mattered to me), I reflected on our reliance on these machines. I was talking to a friend about it later that evening who commented on all of the new Amish families in the region who've moved up from Pennsylvania and how they have it much easier in that respect because they just hook up the ol' horse & buggy. Of course, I drove by an Amish farm a few weeks ago to see in dismay a horse in the pasture.... 4 legs in the air. I guess at least he wasn't stranded on the side of the road 4 miles from home!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Now's Your Chance!

FlockSock Club 2008 is OPEN - Sign-up now!

2007 isn't over yet, and the club has seen some awesome socks already this year , with a couple still to come.

2008 looks to be just as amazing as Lisa takes Art for Your Feet to new levels of design, fit, fashion, comfort and fun.

And, even though the club doesn't officially start until next year, there is already a contest running - why wait until next year for the fun to start? Sign up before Dec. 15th to be entered in a drawing for a Bag o' Goodies from the Tsarina of Tsocks and the Yarn Fairy. Heck, the Chocolate Fairy might even smack her wand into things a few times. (You do know there's such a thing as a Chocolate Fairy, right?)

So, visit the website today for full details and feel free to email me with any questions.

And, btw, thank you so much for the Birthday Wishes last week!

Monday, November 05, 2007

(more) Things I've learned from the child.

She's now 5, and I learn something new all the time from her. Like most recently...

Rule # 64 Always keep an extra toothbrush on hand. You never know when the current toothbrush may be used for something other than teeth.
Associated Tip: When you send her in to wash her hands, and she comes out with dry hands, and her toothpaste to tell you it's almost gone, you should get up and go see WHY.

I was in denial and instead simply sent her back in to actually wash her hands. It wasn't until I realized that the noises were not the right 'noises' that I went to investigate. And found her vigorously scrubbing the entire sink basin with her toothbrush. Now for someone out there, that might not be a super huge issue, but dudes. We work in the barn on a farm. With the animals, and the things animals DO, and then come in and WASH OUR HANDS in THAT sink. No harm, new toothbrush at the ready, and the sink smells refreshingly of strawberry now.

In other news, Nora & I are home sick - have been all weekend with a nasty head-cold. No new laptop, and not much else really.

Today is November 5th.
Notably today, FDR was re-elected for the 3rd time.
Susan B Anthony was fined $100.00 for attempting to vote for Ulysses S. Grant (you go girl) and she was arrested on this day a couple years later for attempting to vote.
Guy Fawkes attempted treason,

Remember remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason why gunpowder, treason
Should ever be forgot...

And Art Garfunkel & I share a Birthday. Now I know why I like his music. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for our cold medicine.