Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Well, it's official... I think winter just might be on its way.
This is the view from our back porch this morning. We are one more day closer to spring!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Wind, ArkanSocks, and an OkieHat...
It is a cold, gray, and blustery day here in Southwest Lower Michigan, and God's leaf-removal team is hard at work. This means that the wind comes sweeping across the treeless prairie and blows the vast majority of our fallen leaves from the yard into the open field behind the house. The remainder of the leaves are caught in the flower beds and around the house and left as mulch to protect the roots until spring. We had our first snow flurries and some ice last night, so winter is not far off.
Friday, I finished the socks that I started on our trip to Arkansas, and cast on a hat for one of our riding friends in Oklahoma. Both socks and hat are complete, aside for working in the loose ends and washing them up.
<-- Here they are. The sock yarn is Meilenweit. I think the ball band blew away somewhere in Missouri.

The hat was knit using two strands of Lion Wool held together. The recipient said he would like a big, thick, warm red hat, and this one should fit the bill.

...and here are more photos from that trip. These two views are in Petit Jean State Park. What beautiful country are the Ozark Mountains, nearly sufficient to make a flatlander like me weep with envy.

Some new friends, some familiar friends, and some very good friends who we met face-to-face for the first time on this trip.
Front row, from the left: John P. from Alabama, Rich, John H. from Louisiana, Eric (Hog) from Kentucky, with his wife Bonnie (Honey) behind him. Back row: Steve and Sheila from Kentucky, Marian and Jay from Indiana, William from Alabama, me, Suzi from Texas, Rick (Galute) and Denise from Arkansas, and, to Bonnie's left, Suzi's husband Dale (Fuzzy). Among these faces are some of the dearest friends of my life. I am hoping to bring a few of them to Michigan this winter to play in the snow and help shorten the long wait until our riding season begins again in spring.
On the needles: more warm hats for cold Southern friends!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Arkansas Travellers

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
We took a little trip on the BigYellowBike to Harrison, Arkansas, October 3-8. There was a gathering there of some of the folks from our bike forum: I've been looking forward to this ride for over a year. Many of the folks I talk to in the chat room every evening attend this gathering, and it was my first chance to meet several of them face-to-face.
We started out Tuesday evening as soon as I got home from work, and rode an hour and a half to Logansport, Indiana, to the home of our friends, Ross and Joyce. We stayed the night there, then headed south early Wednesday morning under overcast skies and occasional sprinkles. As always, stopping in advance to put on our rain gear kept us from getting any real rain! The day was spent in good company, burning up the miles and enjoying the ride. We had a little unscheduled side trip down a very rough and stony dirt road, and hope we don't have to do that again any time soon! We had a little scare when Ross's bike had trouble negotiating the deep gravel one damage done other than two very dirty bikes, though. We met up with Polecat, another friend from the forum, at a Bar-B-Cue place in Owensboro, KY, and he joined the group, making us one yellow bike and two oranges. We stopped for the night near Paducah, Kentucky, at a motel full of bass fishermen in town for a tournament.

I was growing close to finishing the socks-in-progress, so cast on for another pair in the motel room. Apparently there was more interesting stuff going on in our travelling companions' room, because in the morning we saw this: tore the headboard right off the wall...hmmm.

We met up with a lot of my chat room friends in Harrison.
<-- Here are Galute (Rickey) from Arkansas and John P. from Alabama,

<-- John H. from Louisiana,

<-- Fuzzy (Dale) and Suzi from Texas.

Galute led us on a beautiful ride through the mountains around Harrison on Saturday. We stopped a few times for pictures and great BBQ before some of the group split off and headed home.

<-- Bass, Arkansas. This little town has a general store/post office, closed now for many years. Mr. Dodson, the proprietor and former postmaster, lives alone there with a number of cats who have their own little house. We spent a lovely hour or so there, enjoying the peaceful view and visiting with Mr. Dodson. I think this was everyone's favorite stop for the day.

We headed for home Sunday morning, sorry to see the gathering end but full of good memories. Our companions once more were Ross, Joyce and Polecat. We rode the ferry at Bull Shoal Lake, and rode many miles of twisty mountain roads. Rich and I had a very close call in the evening with a semi whose driver was apparently a bit distracted, but otherwise there were no scares. We spent Sunday night in Salem, Illinois, then lit out in the morning for home. Polecat split off toward Ohio and we dropped Ross & Joyce off in Logansport in the afternoon.

We're all looking forward to the next gathering. It can't come soon enough to suit me!

Here's a link to Galute's trip report, for those who want to read more: Harrison, 2007
Galute has a wonderful gift with words, and has posted another trip report about his ride to Alaska this past June with a few of our other friends from the Gold Wing forum. You can see it here: Alaska or Bust
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Thursday, October 18, 2007

So Tiny!

I had the great pleasure of meeting my newest great-niece last Saturday night. This is Samantha, from Ohio:

Her mommy is my niece, Amber, my brother's daughter. Amber called to see if I would babysit while they attended the last-ever Tomahawk Game between White Pigeon and Constantine, and I jumped at the chance.

They dropped her off before the game and we had her for about four hours. Rich and I took little Samantha out to dinner at Cracker Barrel with our friend, Michelle. It's been a long time since I've held such a tiny baby! At one month old, she is not yet as big as our Robby was at birth. She is a very good and happy baby, and it was such fun to meet her and to see her mom, dad, sister and brothers.

I finished a pair of socks on our recent bike trip to Arkansas. These are in Opal Rodeo, K6 P3 rib with Eye-of-Partridge heel. They've gone to Michelle, with deep gratitude for keeping our dog, Claudia, while we were on the trip.

I started another pair while on the road, in a lovely Meilenweit self-striping yarn. Pictures to come!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Summer Socks, 2007
It seems I did get SOME knitting done this summer... Clockwise from top left:

1. Blueberry Waffle socks using one strand of Opal Mosaic in color 1112 and one of Opal Uni-Solid in color #20 held together. These socks are a gift for a former co-worker.

2. Crystal Palace sent me some yarn and one of their new circular needles to test. This yarn is Panda Wool, and I think the color is #2101 Rosewater. It's spun from wool and bamboo (yes, bamboo!) and is wonderful to work with. Nice hand, very soft and warm socks that wash up beautifully. I made up the pattern as I went, and knitted both socks at one time using the Magic Loop technique. Thank you to the folks at Crystal Palace and to my good friend Laura for giving them my name as a tester.

3. Not socks that I knitted, but socks knit for me by my sister from Regia. I'm not sure of the color, but think it might be Mini-Ringel color #5219. I LOVE the bright colors and the stripes. Thank you, Cherryl! I taught her to knit socks a couple of years ago, and she's as addicted now as I am.

4. Opal Rodeo color 1159 in K6, P3 ribbing. These socks won me a Viewers' Choice prize at the Sockathon Yahoo! Group. I can hardly wait to see what comes in my prize package... :) Crystal Palace is also supplying the prize yarn for the contest. Thanks to them, again and to all the group members who voted for my socks.

I have been terribly remiss in acknowledging another gift I received this past summer. There's a terrific blog called Good Yarn Karma, where you can sell or trade off your stash, or even just give it away "for Karma". I saw the book Knits from the Heart listed a few months ago. It was being given away for Karma so I asked for it and got it! Very cool blog, and a lot of very nice folks there. I was supposed to mention the blog here when I got the book, but life (and grandparenting!) seems to have gotten in the way.

Hope to finish the blue Rodeo socks soon, and get another project on the needles. We're off on the BigYellowBike to a GoldWing gathering in Harrison, Arkansas in a few days, and I need a good back-of-the-bike knitting project for the trip.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

One Year Old This Saturday!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

God's New Angel...
These past couple of years, our motorcycle has introduced us to many wonderful people. One very special friend is Steve Meadows, a.k.a. "Brobubba" to our group.

Steve is a husband, father, law-enforcement officer, devout Christian, and a very, very good man. His daughter, Mabel, was born with cystic fibrosis, and fought a hard fight for over eighteen years. A little over a year ago Mabel received a double lung transplant, and on her seventeenth birthday she was able to blow out her birthday candles for the first time in her life.

See this link:

Mabel passed on yesterday afternoon. Here is a link to the journal Steve has been keeping to document their journey:

Another friend, "Galute," posted this moving message to our motorcycle forum:

So, go. Read. Weep. Hug your children. Thank God for every blessing. And say a prayer for Steve and his family in the hard days to come.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I'm Still Here...
It's been a busy couple of months, and I've neglected my blog. Sarah reminds me that people worry, so here's an update.
In April, Rich and I went to Falls Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee to meet up with a bunch of our friends from The annual event is called the "Tennessee Lunch Run," and folks come from all over to eat lunch and ride together. We met our friend Ross in southern Indiana and rode the rest of the way with him.
At the park we saw many, many beautiful bikes, and I got to meet several of my chat room friends for the first time. It was good to see our old friends, too. We forgot our camera for the trip, so I don't have many pictures, but here are a few:

Galute, from Arkansas (his name is self-explanatory!)

Polecat, from Ohio, looking a bit like Jack Elam these days, Loren, formerly from Wisconsin, but now living in Arkansas, me, Rich, and 5Ross, from Indiana.

Rich and I at a lovely waterfall somewhere in North Carolina.

The "Tree of Shame" at Deals Gap. This stretch of road is also known as "The Tail of the Dragon" because it has 318 curves in eleven miles, and is a very popular place for motorcyclists of all sorts and skills. The Tree of Shame is bedecked with parts picked up after crashes. We didn't ride the Dragon the day we were there. There were at least three different bike rallies in Tennessee that weekend, and the road was crowded and dangerous. Another time, perhaps! .

And last, but certainly not least, a few pictures of Robby. He grows and changes with every passing minute, and is a great joy to us all!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

"Hello Darlin', good to see you, it's been a long time!"
(With apologies to George Jones...) Life has been busy here at Sunnybook Farm, and it's been more than two-and-a-half months since I've posted. I've been derelict in my duties. To make up for it, here's a picture of the cutest little face ever. This is Robby's "I see you have the camera out, so I shall become very serious" face.

My mother gave this little Fisher-Price horse to Robby's daddy on his first birthday. Robby is crawling, pulling himself up, and walking around furniture now, so I figured he was ready for "Horsie." The other day I had to run upstairs to get some wrapping paper for a wedding gift, and I made a quick detour into the attic to dig out our old friend. I scrubbed off twenty-odd years of attic splooge and here it is, somewhat yellowed with age, but still in great shape.

Robby is a little unsure of what he is to do with this thing, exactly, but he loves it! I set him on it, and he broke out in a HUGE grin...not that you'd know it from this picture!

I've finished several socks, but can't show most of them to you, because they're samples of the four patterns I'll have in "Friendly Socks, volume 3" and it's too early for sneak peeks. I'll get pics of the others soon (yeah, right...soon, you say?).

We made a little trip on the BigYellowBike to Tennessee in April, and are getting ready to go to Ohio for the Dan Barr Memorial Golf Outing very soon. Will post pics of that when I get a chance.

Hope all who read this are well. I had a little scare a couple of weeks ago, but the second mammogram came back clear as a bell. Make sure the women you love get squished on a regular basis!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Still Alive!
I am a very bad blogger. Here are a few pictures from the past month or so.
Michelle and Robby
Our friend Michelle has told her two teenaged daughters, "NO babies for a very long time!"
We let her play with Robby to help stave off the anticipation of holding her own grandchildren.

A newly-finished pair of socks, of my own design. I call it "No-Count Cables" because you don't have to count the rounds between the cable twists. The yarn is Meilenweit.

Dude and Grandpa
The kids bought Robby some sunglasses, and he loves to wear them. He is very cool and serious when he has them on, and doesn't play with them at all.
"What are YOU lookin' at?"

Lots going on this past month. I am finally back to work full-time, after being laid off and working three part-time jobs since November.

I've finished three designs for Friendly Socks, Book III, and just need to finish writing up the patterns so I can send them off to Laura.

I tested some needles and yarn for Crystal Palace ...mmmmm....bambooooo....
We're planning a short trip in a few days to meet up with some of our motorcycle forum friends in Tennessee.

Yesterday at work I had a wonderful visit from Sheila Winney of Ohio, who will complete a one-year odyssey this week. She has been attempting to break the record for most miles ridden by one woman on one motorcycle in one year. Two major wrecks, a lot of foul weather, and 125,000+ miles later, she will be done on Thursday, April 19th, after which she and her husband will celebrate with a much-deserved vacation and cruise. Sheila and I have been chatting on-line for over a year, but this was the first time we've met in person. It was a great pleasure to finally meet her. She is a lovely, strong, and impressive woman of great humor and she nearly twinkles when she speaks. She took some pictures, and I will post them here when I get them.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Robby's newest picture

They just don't get any cuter than this! This was at about five months of age.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Robby spent the night with us again last night. He has a little cold and was up with a fever in the wee hours of the morning, but is cheerful in spite of feeling icky. I love this picture!

These are my first finished socks for the SocksForSoldiers Yahoo group. The yarn is Meilenweitt and the pattern is a basic rib. They're waiting for another pair to be finished before I mail them off.

I've joined another Yahoo group called
DeathBySocks. Everyone in the group knits a pair of socks for someone else. If the person who is knitting for you finishes your socks and mails them off to you, you've been 'assassinated' and must mail the socks you're working on to them to be finished and mailed to their intended recipient. The last one to remain 'alive' is the winner, and will receive a bountiful basket of goodies. I am donating a copy of our book, Friendly Socks, Volume 1 to be awarded to the winner. You can visit Laura's blog, Sirius Knitting, to find out how to order your copies of Friendly Socks, Volumes 1 and 2. Volume 3 is in the works!
Edit later that same day...Sarah says "no way you'll be assassinated..." I guess I forgot to say these socks ARE my assassination socks. They were delivered yesterday, so I have been assassinated, LOL! They are just lovely, knitted from Austermann Step with jojoba and aloe. They are very soft, warm, and beautiful, and were started for me by Marti and finished by SheriO.

These are the socks I knitted for my 'victim'. They've been mailed off and should be arriving any day. I had a little kitten incident just before they were of our kitties stole the ball of yarn from the knitting bag at my feet and ran off with it. By the time I caught him, he had the yarn horribly tangled. This was what I had after two hours of picking out the knots. There was another giant tangle just below the bottom of the picture. This yarn was either Fortissima or Meilenweitt...can't find the ball band just now.
Another edit, later that same day... this yarn is Opal, don't remember the collection or color numbers.
And last but not least, a pair of thumbless mittens for Wee Robby. Here's a rough pattern to fit a 3-6 month old infant:

Thumbless Mittens
I knitted both of these mittens at one time on two circular size 2 needles.
Cast on 24 stitches in DK weight yarn. Join in a round, being careful not to twist the stitches!
Work in K1 P1 rib for about an inch and a half.
Work in stockinet stitch until the mittens reach the tip of the baby's pinkie finger.
Decrease rounds:
Round 1: Beginning at one edge of the mitten, K1, SSK, knit across to three stitches from the other side, K2 tog, k1. 2 stitches decreased.
Repeat for the other side of the mitten. Round 1 complete.
Round 2: Knit all stitches.
Repeat these rounds until only 8 stitches remain on either side of the mitten (16 stitches total).
Work Round 1 every round until only 4 stitches remain on each side. (8 stitches total). Graft the remaining stitches together, and work in the loose ends. Repeat for the second mitten. Finished, and ready to warm those precious wee fingers!

I did not swatch for gauge, and don't have the mittens here to tell you what my gauge was, so you're on your own there! Feel free to contact me if you have problems with this pattern.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Bath Time at Grandma's!

Robby spent the day with me today, and I took a few pictures of him. Here are two. Enjoy!