Once again, I've been a long time gone, but as the weather warms it's becoming painfully obvious that I need to shake up my life just a little bit. I'm in a rut, and although things are getting accomplished, there's also too much time spent in empty pursuits. I have fallen down an internet rat hole lately, reading websites that focus too much on the negative, and I need to stop. Frankly, there is enough snark and negativity in my "real" life and it just isn't necessary to engage in it voluntarily even though on a virtual level.
That said, I'm going to really make an effort to move back to the knitting blogs. I know most of my good internet friends, some of whom I've been lucky enough to meet in person, are still out there. I hope you'll come visit me again, too.
So, instead of doing a month by month recap, I'll try to just hit the highlights. First, as a lot of you know, I bought that beautiful horse who graced my last posting here in January. I picked her up on the coldest day of the year. I think it was 6 degrees when we got to her farm. I HATED her name, Razzle Dazzle, but it took me only about a week to discover who she really is. Meet Gracie.
Isn't she pretty? I chose the name as both a play on words (gray/Gracie) and because she's so smart and playful she made me think of Gracie Allen. She has lost a lot of weight since she came to the Farm, and is just the sweetest horse. She's very people oriented. In fact, she likes people a whole lot more than she likes the other horses! But we are working on that. The transition from a small backyard home with three other horses to our big, busy, hectic barn of 43 animals was not an easy one for her. Since January, she's had colic twice, the second time pretty badly (very scary for me!) and because she was not ridden much, needs more work to build up her muscles. But we ride every day, both in the pastures and both indoor and outdoor arenas. We are even part of the quadrille team, although sometimes being in the arena with up to 17 other horses and riders makes her a bit cranky. Both of us have a lot to learn, but we are having fun doing it together. We celebrated her 9th birthday on May 5, and I'm looking forward to many more years with her.
I missed my ten year Blogiversary on March 17, but considering that I haven't been blogging much lately, maybe I need to take a year or two off that count. Hopefully, my good intentions will be fruitful this time.
In April, Stitches South came to town and set up in a new venue. It seemed a bit smaller, but there were several new to me vendors, which was nice. For once, I didn't do too much damage to my pocketbook, although I did fall down rather hard in Miss Babs' booth.
I suppose I have to admit that I'm a process knitter, because as soon as I'm done with one project, it's on to the next. The result of that behavior is there was a rather significant pile of unblocked lace items languishing in a basket - some from 2012, a few more from 2013, and of course, several from this year. I don't know what hit me, but a few weeks ago, out came the blocking mats and pins and almost everything got blocked. All of the 2102. All of the 2013. And even all of the 2014, except for a bulky sweater that I'm on the fence about, and Albers Cowl, which I'm going to seam together later tonight and finish tomorrow. My latest finish, Vlad, is blocking as I type this.
I'm glad it's all done, but had a problem with two shawls, one of which was Vlad. No matter what I did, I could not get the edge points to pull out. I'm a loose knitter, and used the recommended stretchy bind off for both, even going up several needle sizes. Anyone have some advice for me? It's frustrating to do all that work and end up with a plain triangle. At any rate, if you want to see all the stuff, check out my Ravelry projects.
The last few days, my interest in spinning has revived and spindles and wool now grace the coffee table, along with my current knitting project. I even ordered a Turkish spindle, something I've wanted for quite a while. Just another thing to pull me off the internet and into something a bit more productive.
I'm still very involved at the barn as President of our Conservancy. Yesterday, we had our yearly Fun Day. It's a great way for the kids, and some of the adults, to come together and have, well, fun, riding. We do mounted games like Ride A Buck (no saddle with a dollar bill under the leg - don't drop it!), H2O Whoa (holding a full cup of water at walk, trot, and canter,) Egg and Spoon Race, Relay Race, Trail Class (weaving through cones, move a bucket from one post to another, forward and backward through rails,) and a Cross Country jump course. The weather was beautiful for the events, everyone had a great time, and we enjoyed a catered bbq picnic afterwards. Yup, a Fun Day!
That's my life in a nutshell lately. Jim and I are trying to figure out where to go for vacation this year, most likely in early September. It could be Iceland or it could be Utah. Or somewhere else entirely. In the meantime, I'll be spending time with Gracie, my knitting, my spinning, my camera, and hopefully all my friends, real life and virtual. Oh, and of course, my kitties. Can't forget them. In fact, Mittens is sitting right behind me, occasionally bopping me on the head, and Socks is yowling loudly. It's almost their dinner time. I'd better get going.