The "Big Red Truck"

The "Big Red Truck"

Monday, February 26, 2007

I got to.......

go to Stitches West. Now you know, I just went there to fondle the yarn and to see what all the fuss was about in some of the yarns. (Yeah right!!!!) I wasn't going to buy anything but a skein to finish the DH's socks, but he is an enabler. He's the one that told me I had to limit my stash, but he's also the one who told me to buy the 10 skeins of yarn to make the Kerry sweater just because we were in the booth and she happened to have all 10 skeins. He also told me to buy ___________________________ (fill in the blank) because it had to be less expensive at the show cuz you don't have to pay shipping. Any how, we got into the show about 3 p.m. and had done a really quick run around by the time they closed at 6 p.m. That allowed me time to think I saw all of the booths and to buy way more than I had gone there to buy. Oh such "cool" yarn. I fed the sock yarn monster and then some. Went to the Brooks Farms booth and could have spent oh so much in there, but decided that I would either see them at MS&W in May or order online. They had a cardigan that I want to knit, and I want to use their yarn for it, so I could only buy one sweater's worth this go around.

I had an extremely hard time resisting the cashmere yarns. At $30 an ounce (yes you read that right), I was just a little leary of "messing" it up. Besides that, you have to buy at least 3-4 ounces and that would make for some expensive _____________________.

I was on overload while at the show. I saw so many things that I wanted to use, but only had so much time and so much money. At least now I know that I want to buy a bunch of yarn from Brooks Farms. Their yarn is incredible. I did buy some, in an incredible red/brown colorway that my camera just doesn't do justice to. The colors are much richer and the sheen is just amazing. Granted this yarn is 20% silk, but it just screamed my name when I saw it.

I also got several skeins of sock yarn: some Tofutsies, a skein of Trekking XXL pro natura in a blue/green colorway that reminds me of the colors in blackwatch plaid. I also got some hand painted Kangaroo dyed yarns that have a green/gray/purple colorway that is rich and yummy.

I found myself being drawn to the natural colors and more muted colors. Nothing I bought, except for the bright pink Tofutsies, was anything but muted colors. All of the colors were rich and deep and vibrant. I can hardly wait to get started on the projects and the socks for the yarn I had, plus the yarn I bought.

If you want to see pictures of the other yarns I got, although the pictures aren't great, go to Stitches West Haul.

I have decided that if I get to plan to go to another Stitches event, I am going to plan to take a couple of the classes that they offer. There were a lot of classes that sounded like they would be something that I would like to take, but I didn't know I was going to get to go and by the time I did, all of the classes were full. It is soooooo hard to plan anything with the vagaries of the trucking industry. We just never know if we are going to be able to go where we have asked to go, or if they are going to send us in the opposite direction.

Anyway, it was a good time and I would have liked to have a lot longer to wander and fondle and make purchase decisions.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Such Variety

You remember one of the last posts I made I talked about the 4-5 foot snow drifts and the cold temps....Ain't so anymore. We are in Laredo, TX and the temp is 85 degrees. Such a change from where we were just a few days ago. Instead of having to bundle up, we are wearing T-shirts and crop pants (at least I am). I overheard in the truckstop one of the clerks commenting on someone complaining about the heat. She said that we don't know what hot is, because they still think that it is cold here. I told her that if you come from -12 below to this, it is hot, but a welcome change.

We are heading to L.A. with this load and I thought, Oh, wouldn't Stitches West be great fun. I then looked at the location of Stitches West and unless we get a load going north, I don't think that DH will drive the 300 miles or so that would take us to Santa Clara.....but oh what fun would be had by all. I guess I'm still holding out for the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.

I am still working on the DH's socks, but ran into what looks like it will be a snag. I guess that it just didn't compute with me that 50 grams of worsted weight wool is not going to be enough to make socks for him and I started them anyway. Now I am going to have to knit until the yarn runs out and then wait until we go by my mom's and can pick up the yarn that I ordered from Webs. It was a good thing that I kept the online receipt I had gotten from them, because when I was looking at the yarn in the pictures on the website, I would have ordered a totally different color than what I was using. The yarn I had was soft brown and I would have ordered something with a name of gold something because it looked closer to what I was using than the soft brown did. Also, when I was on the website, I had to add a couple of things to the order, don't ya know. Now I have something to look forward to when we get to mom's.

I was looking at a couple of blogs, and I saw some really good comments and recommendations about Sweet Georgia yarns. I decided to go and look at her stuff, and found out that she is planning to take a hiatus of at least 6 months, soooooo I just had to find some Sweet Georgia Yarn. I found and bought, so will have that the next time we make it to West Virginia. I also bought some Austerman Step yarn bacause I want to knit up some for socks for my mother who has perpetually dry feet. I'm thinking that the aloe and jojoba will help with that.

I have copied and saved the pattern for the Mid-month Dishcloth KAL, but I haven't started on it yet. I also haven't finished the one from the first of the month, even though I have the patter all printed out and everything. I started to work on these socks, and everything else kind of fell by the wayside. I probably could finish the one from the first of the month tonight or tomorrow and then finish the one from my knitting book and then I would have finished up 2 of the 4 wips. I think that it would make DH happy if I did that, especially since I bought new yarn (he doesn't know that yet) and it would make room in my bag for some of the sock yarn that is in my stash box, then my stash box wouldn't look so full and THAT would definately make him feel better. I have to admit that he is a good sport about the room that I take up with my "stuff" and he doesn't complain overly much....well okay, he does complain, but doesn't make me take it off the truck. I keep reminding him that yarn weighs a whole lot less than the myriad of books that I used to have on the truck. I have cut those down to very few since I picked up on the knitting again.

I thik that will have to be all for today. It looks like DH has reached the point in securing the load where he would like for me to help. When we have to tarp a load, I usually go help him....and a lot of the time even when we don't because we get done faster if I do and he can't do it all by himself.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


We got a load on tuesday that picked up in Western Maryland. That was a good thing! :-) It went to West Chicago, IL, which put us through the path of that wicked storm that hit the midwest and the northeast. On Tuesday night we stopped for dinner in PA and the ground was covered with slush and ice and snow and it was pouring down rain with a temp of about 20 degrees. It was nasty. We headed out of the truck stop and into Ohio. I had routed us over US 250 and then started to think about the weather and the road (which is mountainous and twisty and two laned) and decided that I had better find another way. I'm glad I did. The way we went was bad enough. We saw no less than 4 truck accidents and countless cars off in the ditch because the roads were slick as snot and people were just driving too fast.

Tuesday night we found a parking space in a rest area and went to sleep for our allotted 8 hours and got up to about 2 feet of snow and drifts that were as much as 4-6 feet. YUK! As we were getting dressed and stuff, we watched three or four trucks struggle to get through the drifts of the parking area. It was literally pushing the snow out of the way with the bumper and dragging your load over the drifts that had accumulated between the tractor and the trailer. About the time the 3rd truck was working his way out, two plow trucks showed up. they wanted to clean the parking lot but were unable to because of the trucks. They helped the one that was having trouble with the ice by putting salt or sand under his tires and he finally got out. That left us and one other truck. We weren't going anywhere fast because of the drifts and a 44,000 lb load of lumber, not to mention the ice that was under all of that snow. We couldn't get any traction. So my dh got out and asked for some sand or salt from the snow plow guy, and then he helped the other truck out of his space, and by the time he got done, we able to just drive out because the salt and sand and my dh with a shovel, had worked their magic and we pulled out without anymore trouble.

During the time that we were trying to get out and waiting and all, I was knitting on the pair of socks that I'm making. I was going to town, too, and got lots done. Then last night, after our little Valentine's day party for the ds, I made copies of the sock fitting sheet from Crazy Toes and Heels and decided that the socks that I was working so dilligently on were not going to fit anyone that lives in our house and unless you are a duck, they wouldn't have fit you either. So we visited frog city and tore them out back to where there were the correct number of stitches on the needles an will continue them again from there so that they will fit the dh. Ds said he wanted them, but I had already promised them to the dh, so ds will have to wait.

I haven't worked on any of the other wips, because I want to get the socks done, and now that I have measured all of the feet in our family, I will be able to make socks that actually fit and will actually be worn.

Now we are on our way down to Gregory, TX which is real near Corpus Christie....hopefully it will be warm down there. I'm about tired of this cold weather. I've taken to wearing my silk long john shirt under the sweater just for the extra layer.

I guess that is all for now.....have a great one.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Some more WIP's documented by NEW camera

I have a picture of one of the socks that I am knitting. I am doing them toe up on 2 circ's and love this process of knitting socks. I started some cuff down and felt like I was getting nowhere fast, so I ordered the book Crazy Toes and Heels and really like the process a whole lot better. At least this way I feel like I am making progress. The only problem, and I know that it is me, is that I haven't figured out what I am doing that is making the toes so square. I will figure it out on the next pair...this one is for learning. At least that's what DH keeps telling me. At least they look better now than they did before. It least the toe is 2-3 inches wide instead of just 1/2-1 inch wide.

Here is a picture of the scarf that I am knitting for the ds. It is a pattern that I am making up as I go along and so far it is several rows of strait knitting; followed by a few rows of ribbing and then several rows of seed stitch. I then repeat what I had done and it looks really nice. I tried to do something with cables and I was having a terrible time, so I frogged it and started this. It is going a lot faster, although not as fast as ds wants it to.

I guess that is all I have to show off today, but it makes me happy that my wonderful, sweet DH took me out and bought a new camera so that I can do things like this and actually take pictures of things like Mt. Ranier and animals, etc. YAY YAY YAY

Pictures of WIPS

This is a picture of February KAL for Monthly Dishcloths on Yahoo Groups. I am about 1/3 of the way finished with it and will work on it when we get back in the truck. I have the pattern printed out and everytime I am down there I forget it and when I want it, it's too much to go down the loooonnngg driveway and get it. Next week....I'll think about that next week. :-)
This is some Alacama wool that is 100% alpaca wool I found at A.C. Moore for $3.97 a hank. There is 50g in each hank, so I bought two so that I can make a pair of socks. This color is for socks for my sister.
This color is for me. I bought this one first and went back and bought the other two the next day because the price is so good and the colors are wonderful as well.
This final color, by default, will become a pair of socks for my mother. She will be surprised.

I have some other pictures of wips that I will post on another post so that it doesn't get too labor intensive to download if you have a slow connection.

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Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Still at home

We got home yesterday afternoon and are still load, or at least not one that would pay enough to warrant taking it. Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

I frogged the socks. The toes were square and that is not how they were supposed to look. My dh kept telling me just to finish them and not worry about it because they were my first and I was entitled to make a mistake on my first. They just weren't looking like I wanted them to, so I frogged them and frogged them and finally found another cast on that is working and the toes are round. Yay!!!

I got a package yesterday when we came home from Knit Picks. I had ordered some gloss yarn and some dancing sock yarn from them and it was here when we got home. When I finish the practice pair, I will start on the pair for hubby. Maybe I will have my two socks on two circs book by them and be able to follow the pattern so that they work better.

I found a site that will generate a custom sweater for your dog and we have such a weebie dog that we decided she needs a better, warmer something so I am going to make her a sweater. I have some variagated wool ease that may make a really warm sweater. We'll see.

Until the next time. Hopefully we'll be back on the road again.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Secret Pal # 10

I am going to join this Secret Pal # 10 and the rules say that you have to answer the questionaire and have the answers posted on your blog, so here goes:

#1. What is your favorite yarn to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *NOT* like? I like all yarns that are natural fibers. I'm not wild about acrylic but will use it if it is appropriate.

#2. What do you store your needles/hooks in? I store my knitpicks in the case they came in. My straight single points are in a pocket in my knitting bag and my crochet hooks are in another pocket. DH has said that he will make me a needle case with leather on the outside...we'll see.

#3. How long have you been knitting and where did you learn? Do you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I have been knitting off and on for 30 years. I learned in junior high home ec class and would consider that I am an advanced beginner. I am game to try anything as long as it contains knits or purls.

#4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wishlist? I do have an Amazon wish list that actually has some knitting books on it.

#5. What's your favorite scent? I love the scent of English Lavendar, but my favorite perfume is an Irish perfume called Inis. It's clean and crisp.

#6. Do you have a sweet tooth? What's your favorite candy? A little bit of a sweet tooth. Chocolate of course, but DARK chocolate. LOL

#7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin? I like to sew, plan for building our house and decorate. I do spin, although I haven't since we have been on the truck. I own a wheel and will again when our house is built.

#8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3's (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)? I like all kinds of music. We listen to country, western, christian, celtic, irish, jazz, swing, 40's, but not hard rock and especially not headbanging music.

#9. What's your favorite color? Any color that you just can't stand? I am partial to greens that are on the dark end of the scale and like colors that complement the greens, like browns, blues, some pale yellows. I really don't like orange and virulent purples.

#10 What is your family situation? Do you have any pets? I am happily married to the love of my life. We own a small trucking company (1 truck and my husband drives) that we lease to a larger company. We are on the road all the time, but have internet access most of the time and enjoy what we do. We have a Parsons Jack Russell terrier and a DS that travel with us.

#11 Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or poncho's? I do wear scarves, hat, and mittens, but have never, and I mean never, seen the point of a poncho. I mean really....

#13 What is/are your favorite item(s) to knit? I am really liking the sock thing. I also like knitting dishcloths because they are quick and easy. They also allow you to try out different stitches and practice for a while and then be done.

#14 What are you knitting right now? I am working on a.) pair of socks made of merino worsted. They are being done Toe up on two #3 circular needles. Love this style. b.) a scarf for my ds c.) a couple of dishcloths.

#15 Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, plastic, aluminum? I have become very partial to Knit Picks options. I use them for everything because they come in so many sizes and lengths. I do have various sizes of bamboo straights and finally gave my aluminum straights to my niece.

#16 Do you have a yarn winder or a swift? I recently used a 40% off coupon to order a ball winder, but the only swift that I have is my husbands two arms.

#17. How old is your oldest UFO? I have a blanket that I am working on for my ds that is several months old that is being done in crochet. The other things that I have are only a few weeks old.

#18. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas used to be my favorite holiday, but things in our family have changed so much lately that it is not the holiday that I remember. It has become stressful instead of peaceful. I do like Thanksgiving because we get to spend it with my parents and don't have the stressors that are there when we do Christmas.

#19. Is there anything you collect? I have a rather large collection of Boyd's Bears that is going to be liquidated when we get our container moved and I can get to the boxes. I collect Redwing pottery, yellow ware bowls and advertising items, and crockery or pottery that is unique.

#20. Any books, yarn, needles or patterns out there that you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? I would like to have some of the Austermann Step yarn in one of the natural colorways to make a pair of socks out of. I also really want the Mason Dixon Knitting book because of all of the great reviews I have read and from looking at the book. I am really spoiled and bad about just ordering what I want, although I am going to stop that so that I can give my dh something to have on my list for him to purchase. I have not subscribed to any of the knitting mags because I haven't decided which one of the magazines I like the best.

#21. Are there any techniques that you would like to learn? I want to learn Fair Isle and steeking....but only after I get proficient at the socks that I have started to work on. Steeking scares me to death. I work so hard to get the fabric of whatever it is done so that it looks nice and then I cut into it?

#22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurments? I am learning to knit socks, but I have yet to take my foot measurements. I wear a size 8 shoes, and usually wear women's medium socks.

#23. When is your birthday? My birthday is July 8th.

The vagaries of the Trucking world

You know...sometimes I just don't get it. We ask to go home or at least run through town to pick up our mail and can our dispatcher get us with 200 miles? NOOOO. We deliver one load and he asks if we need to get home this weekend and we respond no, and what does he do? He gets us a load that delivers to the college in the town where we live. We have NEVER had a load that delivered with 100 miles of here, but we don't want to go home and here we are. It just baffles me.

Oh well, I will just accept the fact that I can pick up some mail and hopefully my knitting stuff, or at least some of it, that I have ordered online and go with it.

I really need to get a camera that will work for taking pictures. I want to post the pictures of my wip's, but my camera won't work....waaaaahhhhh. I am still working on the socks, they kind of look like elf socks with a square toe, but when I say I want to frog them, DH says to finish them and he will wear them and to chock it up to experience. I guess I will and then just go on to the next pair knowing what I did wrong. I also hope that the sock book I ordered will be in the mail when we get it. I want to learn to do toe up on two circ's without square toes. The book I ordered is by Queen Kahuna and should allow me to fix the problem of the square toes.

The scarf is still coming along and is quite pretty...ds wants it done now. Impatient little boys! LOL

I also have two discloths is the February KAL from Monthly discloths and the other is from a book called Knitter's Stash: Favorite Patterns from America's Yarn Shops. I adore this book. It has so many patterns that I want to knit up. I used it for Christmas presents. I was looking for some dishcloth patterns and when I went into my favorite LYS, they showed me this book. The patterns aren't really for dishcloths, but for face cloths made of Linen, but they worked well and were a really good size for that purpose. Not only that, it has a listing of a bunch of LYS's in it. My favorite LYS in Bozeman, Montana is in there. I want to try some of the shops in our travels across the country.

We are planning to be home the first full weekend in May so that we can go to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival . I have been before, but dh never has and he said it sounded like fun, so he will take me. I will get to shop....I never turn that down, and dh and ds will get to see sheep and dogs and other stuff that appeals to the "boys".

It's cold here with the chance of snow tonight. We got out of the mid-west just in time to miss the snow, but it looks like it followed us and will be here tonight. Bummer!!! I don't want snow.

Well that's all for today....must get some things together to get some of the clutter off of the truck when we actually make it home. DH is outside repairing things and taking things out of his trailer boxes, so I must take some things out of the inside of the truck.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Superbowl Sunday

Today is the superbowl and I don't even care....I know boo hiss. But I have never been "into" football and don't have the want to to find somewhere to watch the game, although it seems like every truckstop in the country seems to have it playing.

Well, I frogged the cuff down socks on dpn's because I was getting nowhere fast. Those size 1 needles are awfully small. I found that I had 2 circ's that are size 3 and started with some merino wool that I had. These ones are toe up and I like this so much better. I guess I'm kind of an instant gratification kind of girl and I can actually see the toes on these and it makes me feel like I am getting somewhere.....yay!!!

I have finished the first three days of the monthly dishcloth mid-month KAL and I really like it. I'm doing it in Sugar and Creme, plain old red. Kind of appropriate for the theme.

It is soooooo bitter cold. The poor dog, she gets so cold when we stop and take her out. We have a coat for her and everything, but her poor little tootsies freeze. This picture of her was taken during the summer, but she looks the same, except now she wears a coat most of the time. My dh is asking why on earth I would want to post a picture of the dog on my blog...I think it kind of adds a little interest and besides that, I like our dog.

I'm still working on the scarf for the ds. He is a little impatient, especially with the cold weather that we are stuck in, but he's just going to have to wait. It will come, all in good time.

My poor mother...a couple of weeks ago I helped her spec out a new computer. The one she had had been mine 6 years ago, and I had had it for a couple of years before I gave it to her and it was on it's last legs. When we spec'ced it out we put Microsoft word on it. When it got ordered, it didn't have it. So now she is emailing me and asking where word is. I found a place for her to buy and now all is right with the world.

I swear I spend as much, if not more, time reading about knitting as I do knitting. I have to read the email digests from the various yahoo groups that I belong to. That inevitably leads to reading blogs from other people and looking at patterns, cuz you know that there are always going to be good links for things to look at. Then there is all of the other things that I need to do on the computer and keeping up with the blog and the homeschooling and the....and the...LOL

I guess I should get back to doing some of the other things that I need to do, like knitting socks, or dischcloths or a scarf.