Travel by Motorcycle or Motorcycles

Some good friends just returned from Ireland, where they report that you drive on the left hand side of the road, sitting in the right seat of tiny rental cars, and rental motorcycles are very expensive. They drove and rode on little narrow roads, argued a lot and returned on a flight that arrived in DC (Dulles) only to be rerouted to Baltimore to refuel because of a terrific storm over the area, they had the landing gear down, and the runway was in view, but the airplane was so turbulent that more than 1/3 of the passenger literally vomitted (one on my friend's legs). Once they refueled in Baltimore everyone was ordered to return to their seats (from the single file line in the aisle - to clean up the puke) because they were ready to take off for DC. When they entered the runway to take off the storm from DC arrived in Baltimore. Needless to say they needed a vacation after their VACATION!!

THAT's how I feel today. We're not on vacation, we travel mostly for a living, although our living is for a purpose (a divine purpose).

When we started out almost 2 weeks ago on two motorcycles, I was nursing a 4 week old bum knee that I turned when I dropped my bike on a sharp turn in a gas station in May. Since it was a torn meniscus and it would take time to heal, I decided it was strong enough to head down the road on my bike. Our first night out from Indiana to West Virginia was over 400 miles, we saw absolutely stunning scenery, and stopped to camp in a very hilly campground in Beckley WV. When we arrived I realized how tired I was when I had trouble finding a flat place to park my bike, that said and done, I was too tired to get back on after setting up a tent.

A couple in an RV watching us set up came over and offered to cook our dinner, what a wonderful gesture to strangers. We had a great spinach lasagna, and they scared up some salad and fresh fruit ... we camped and survived sleeping on the ground.

Then we got up closed up camp, called the North Carolina destination to say we were on our way, the hubby put my bike on the road for me so all I had to do was get on, start her up and move out on the highway...well,

with the extra 75 lbs of camping gear and the angle of the hills mentioned above, I got on straightened up the bike and went right on over to the right side down to the ground and I rolled down-hill.

Yes, this is the third time I've dropped this bike since I bought it. this time my knee was fine! I protected it. I rolled. But my elbow wedged into my side and knocked the wind right out of me. I was rolling and moaning trying to catch my breath, when the hubby saw me rolling down hill and the bike on its side, he jumped off his bike to come to my aid, but his bike wasn't balanced on the kick-stand very well and over his went.

Me, I'm fine, HIM he's fine, my bike, well, a little more scratched that I'd hope, his bike???

When you drop a BMW the mirror is supposed to "break-away" but not when it's on an angle and the entire weight of the bike falls on the mirros (shattered).

This has proven to be about a $500.00 incident so far. So we get on the way to North Carolina anyway. I'm still so shaken, riding actually mellows me a little. We stop for some gatorade and gas. Somehow I end up with the hubby's cell phone.

We have these vests we put in the sink - it soaks up water - we wear them to stay cool when it is over 90 degrees (works real well). I'm soaking my vest in a public bathroom, and drop his phone into the water -- bye-bye cell phone.

Dumber things have happened. A sweet friend baled us out on this one and donated a used pink phone for the hubby to use until our contract is up next March for a new phone. Only two days without his cell, not bad.

Now I said all this to say this, we were both feeling pretty silly about dropping both bikes in a matter of minutes, (and besides silly for about a week, I was in a lot of pain in the ribs - lots of advil was consumed) ...

then this weekend camping in Pennsylvania with a large group of riders, and a man pulls up to camp, puts his bike on the kick-stand, gets off, walks away and BOOM over goes his bike. Everyone in camp ran to his aide,

but he said, "No, I'll get it." "Watch This," There is an art to picking up your own bike, and he demonstrated it - easing the pain of dropping a bike in public. Damage??? probably, but he made such a good thing out of a silly incident. Then we all sat around and talked about dropping bikes, one man said that he is going to have his doctor tell him when he is too old to ride.

This is the conversation we've been having, how do you know and who tells you when you're too old to ride a motorcycle. Well, I was at this stage - someone tell me, and the hubby was at this stage, "I'm not telling you." But if he doesn't and something really bad, not silly, happens he'd never forgive himself, then this gentleman who had the spill in the Pennsylvania campground told us his age, and he is more than 10 years our senior, so at least we know at this point we're not too old.


Knitting and Improvising

Let me preface this by saying that I did follow the pattern to a tee "t" on this one:


But, the neat little handbag I'm finishing is my design. I decided to start out with an extra long base, then began working the height of the bag about 8 rows in on each side, leaving some base outside the bag. This will be brought up the side on either side and sewn as a cell phone and keys pocket on either side. I'll draw a picture, as I haven't felted it yet!!

OK, I'm going to go figure out a way to draw this pattern, and get back to this topic. New computer has me baffled. OK there, basically once I felt this, I'll be sewing the little tabs on either side, up the sides. Pictures to come later ... and if my notes are accurate enough this may be my first printed pattern. LOVING IT STILL!!


She Knits

Just found a neat web site, http://www.she-knits.com/, beautiful bags. She has an Etsy store too. That is the direction I'm heading. Hoping to sell my patterns soon. I'm excited.

I'm designing another one now, it's totally different. Check back.

Add me to your favorites www.3knittingsisters.blogspot.com


Gasoline in the USA

There are places to go on-line and check out the cost of gas in the area where you live or are traveling. I guess if I was commuting I would plan my trips back and forth going past the area that would save me a few bucks a day because that would be as much as $500.00 a year, literally. That's a great Christmas Savings if I bank it. BUT, if I go out of my way to get that few dollars, then spend it in the convenience store on a soda or cup of coffee ... I'm being a little hypocritical, or living in denial.

If I go out and buy a high mileage vehicle and pay $22,000 for it to get an additional 12 mpg out of it, is the $199.00 a month for a new car payment for 6 or 7 years reall a savings???? It's a funny thing. I've decided to take my extra savings from not driving, but riding my motorcycle, and spend it on felted handbags, purses, etc. Sell them on ETSY, and keep the money for Christmas gifts for the grandkids. I'm converting my gas to Christmas gifts in this fashion. If the purses don't sell, I'll still spend money on gas, and on the kiddos!!

Grandkids rock ... my fuel expenses won't effect my love for them one iota, even if I have NO MONEY.

Just ramblin' now.

Gotta go, start on my next purse. Check out http://www.cockrumfamily.blogspot.com/ to see those great kiddos.

Check out my survey - top right, and please comment on my blog next visit.

More About Fuel Costs

A report about fuel really got me thinking. Has it really changed my life? I'll answer this in a few days. Let me know how it has changed yours.



How does 45 miles per gallon sound? Well actually 1/2 of that is what we get when we do these motorcycle trips because we're on two bikes that get 45 mph, each, that's twice the gas, oh well, it's still better than any enclosed vehicle.

I did bring my knitting on the trip.

The first night in a campground, we barely got the tent set up before dark, so no knitting under the flood light in the "primitive" camping area in Beckley West Virginia...they've got some siren happy officers and emt's in that small town too ... so much for camping "in town."

The next several days spent at the Iron Horse Smoke Out Chopper Rally in North Carolina at a race track, 90 degrees and 90 percent humidity, no knitting time there. Actually if I wasn't blogging now I'd be knitting, our first night in a motel in Arlington, VA.

Tomorrow 41 years of marriage - that's a lifetime all by itself, yep, we met in High School in 1964.

I found some knitting needles that I've had as long as 1965. The summer I moved away from Indiana to the Washington D.C. area and a neighbor lady taught me to knit, Continental.

So, I'm going to knit now, pics later.


Another Felted Purse

OK, now I'm really feeling dumb. I took pictures of this purse in progress, and it was a unique design at that, but I stuck it in the mail to my friend who took me shopping (as a surprise) and didn't get a pic of the finished project ... this is becoming a pattern for me.

Ok, this is the bag in grey and black, upside down, drying from felting. the 4 tabs are knit, felted belt loops. Picture this. I made an extra long strap, just like all of the other bags I've don so far, but instead of using grommets to weave the straps onto the bag, I sewed the straps, (one on each side of the bag) to the inside of the bag and at the same time sewed the "belt loops" to the outside, just down from the top edge and evenly spaced on the sides. Then I sewed a giant snap in the middle (inside) for closure. When I was done I found a grey and black (and shades of tans and gold) long scarf, fed it through the belt loops around the bag and tied it with a silver scarf clip ... beautiful. I hope she likes it. The purse can be carried without a scarf, with any color scarf - it's awesome, maybe I can get her to send me a pic of her with it ????

Camping and some Polymer Clay Pendants

OK, a little thought on camping. When we leave here this time it's on two motorcycles, with tents, and cooking gear, (rain gear of course), and it sounds like we may need cold weather gear, plus heat gear (cool vests you soak in water and wear when the temp is over 80 degrees to stay cool while riding).

This trip takes us to North Carolina back through the Virginias and into Pennsylvania, lots of mountains, weather changes and adventure. One event is the Smoke Out in North Carolina, a motorcycle rally, the other is the Thunder in the Valley. We are camping there with BMW riders. (Hope they don't mind my Yamaha!!)

I PLAN TO TAKE MY KNITTING. I'm making another bag currently that starts with brown and black wool for the base, then works into ecru (tan) stripes, some russet stripes and back to black and brown, I've made the pendants that I will use for closure out of polymer clay - It is awesome, (if I may brag a bit). So I'm anxious to get this one done. Here are a few of my pendants so far.

Denim Look

I bought this denim meryl, Merino Classic Wool by Patons. I was going to make something that wasn't natural or earth colors ... I get stuck on earth colors.

This was going to be my next project, then in a conversation with my sister-in-law she was commenting on my purse (#1 Project), she
said she'd like a little one that was in a denim color for those quick shopping trips, just throw your wallet and keys in there and go!!

We got a good laugh, as that was my next bag in the works. Here's the finished project, just before it went out the door....

Another shot of the same bag - the picture on the pony is the hubbie back in the day.

Rain, Rain, Rain

It seemed like a good plan, and a convenient design. I bought a "tank bag" to put on my gas tank on my motorcycle. It's convenient because I can put my purse in there, and grab the charge card for gas fill-ups without digging through on of my side bags.

See: http://3knittingsisters.blogspot.com/2008/05/vietnam-veterans-and-their-memorial-day.html

This is my bike at the bottom of the post.

The plastic top of the tank bag slopes down and hits me about waist high when I'm riding. Under the zippered opening I can place a map or directions to our next stop. WELL - the slope is the design issue.

Guess where the water goes when it rains. Since it slopes down at my waist, and my seat is the only place it has to go, in a downpour I might as well jump in a lake, couldn't get any wetter. Of course this had to be experienced to be discovered!! I'm a little tired of rain, but so thankful we didn't have the flood damage in our home that so many did in our area.


Floods and the NEW NORMAL

It's very surreal to go through town passing Utility trucks and construction vehicles. The fairgrounds transformed to feeding, distribution and Red Cross station, the High School is a shelter for those who are out of their homes. The last time our city flooded was 1913.

Going to the grocery was interesting, as the power outages had many refrigerated items out of stock and instead of neatly displayed on shelves items are in crates stacked in aisles. The aisles are full of pallets to the point of struggling to fit a cart through, and single file rules. Wait your turn to pass a pallet to reach the peanut butter.

The stories are so sad. One clerk stocking shelves was telling another clerk about a conversation with a lady who literally lost everything to the flood. The lady re-telling the story wished she had her purse with her she would've given the hurting lady her cash ... to get started replacing things she needs.

The post office was overwhelmed. The clerk there was on his last nerve. I was going to challenge him not to go "postal," but that was not a good time to use that joke!! He said that they are overrun with people who don't have a home so they have to have their mail held or forwarded to someone they know. Each person needs to fill out a card, and everyone is functioning in shock. When we worked the Katrina relief we faced this "shock" element daily. At first you're in survival mode, then in denial along with shock...hoping this is a temporary state, then realizing you have a whole "NEW NORMAL" to deal with. And no-one has FLOOD INSURANCE.

My prayers go out to these people and I'm hoping to be helpful in some way. We had standing water in our garage and in our basement, but other than a musty smell from the carpet, we're great, right in the heart of Indiana's flood.


Pasta Machine and Oven

No this isn't a cooking blog, but if I'm going to call my knit and felt bags handmade, I would love to be able to make the donut stone-like closures myself, so ...

see this link: http://3knittingsisters.blogspot.com/2008/04/handbag-purse-aka-one-day-project.html

I've decided to also take up polymer clay beading. My first three "stones" turned out so nice even the hubby commented that they looked unique. I even made some "D" rings to attach purse handles, for the next bag I'm making.

This is a sample of the type of work I want to do, I found this item on Etsy.

I made three last night - all of them have the hole off-set at the top rather than a true donut, and two are teardrop shape rather than perfect circles - pictures to follow - I promise.

Keep lookin'

Desktop Publishing

Why would I put an article about Desktop Publishing on a knitting blog?

It's pretty simple. If I'm going to do an ebook in the near future, then I must get going on designing my book. Perfect.

I think I'll be using Word, which I really do not like, I prefer MS Publisher for this type of work, but I have the ability to change Word to a .pdf file and don't have that luxury with MS Pub.

Word does something weird with documents, when you save them then re-save them it permanently attaches the files to each other and loses documents if you move them internally into other folders, I think because I'm an old DOS operator, used to moving my files when I want where I want them, I don't care for software that thinks for me...it makes me double-think.

But I'm on the downhill side of the learning curve for Word, so I think I'll be settling for it's quirkiness.


Severe Weather Warnings and State of Emergency

Well, we just went through the flood of a lifetime, not we personally, but we collectively in our community.

As luck has it, we had just arrived home from traveling, so there was no food in the house...eating out the last few meals before it started to rain.

We had SPAM in the cabinet, and 3 eggs, some sugar free syrup, whole grain pancake mix, lots of mustard, catsup, olives, BBQ sauce, olive oil, etc.

Wouldn't you know the grocery store was flooded, the Wal Mart was closed because there was no way to access it and the power was out. So-o-o-o we were very creative with our meals, got 3 meals out of bare cabinets, then after the State of Emergency allowed us to go 20 miles North to our son's house, we saw the SouthBound lanes of the highway closed because the right lane of the 2lane was GONE!! on a state road. Whew, wouldn't want to be out driving on that in the dark. The water from the river came around 2 miles to get to the road, and it was obvious, the road had been COVERED before it receded to the point we could drive. Well, we were so blessed to only have wet walls and carpet in our laundry area (block walls). Others lost everything.

The storm that came Friday night stalled right over our town, I mean literally. I lay awake for 3 hours counting one-one-thousand, tw0- and the thunder would crash before I could get to two.

Web Analytics and Stats

My stats for this web page show that people are looking at it, but aren't commenting. I'm trying to be relevant, but I'm getting no responses.

So-o-o-o if you are reading this and you are the first to comment, I will make you a FREE complimentary cell phone (knit and felt) holder, your color choice, from colors available in Patons Classic Wool or Patons SWS (soy wool stripe), made for your cell phone size. (You must give me time - probably 3-4 weeks to make the item, as I do some traveling between my knitting habit.) Just submit your email addy in the comments section and tell me what you like or don't like about my blog.

Patons Classic Wool Link: http://www.patonsyarns.com/product.php?LGC=classicwool

Patons SWS Wool Link: http://www.patonsyarns.com/product.php?LGC=sws


Starting a Business/Giving Gifts and DIGITAL PHOTOS

I really have a goal of starting a business with these bags I'm designing, but so far each item I've made has become a personalized gift. I know, I know, I'm better off selling the patterns, so I'm keeping track of all the changes I'm making to existing patterns, to put them into a little ebook, I even have a cover design in the making for my first pattern book.


But progress is slow as far as documenting each item, tracking the changes I make to patterns to make them unique, and getting pictures along the way is my weakness.

The hubbies most recent digital camera makes me crazy. I cannot take a picture without the old hands shaking, so each pic is a major blur ... this slows progress on pic taking, I also had hoped to do videos of my work, but I found great videos of knitting on-line. I'm well on the way to setting this all up, it really is coming together....look out ETSY here I come!


THIS IS INTERESTING - handmade embellisments for my Felted Purses

I'm starting a new craft when I'm anchored (this would be when in the house with a foundation vs. the house with wheels).

The craft is Polymer Clay ... yep, little sis3, I've finally done all the reading I plan to do and all the supplies are collected, including the oven for baking my wares, and I'm so ready to start making my faux stones.

This will be some of the embellishments that I'm putting on the felted bags, so they will be photographed for my pattern book in time. May take pics of the entire process.

The last bag I felted turned out much smaller than I thought it would - but I left it in the washer a little longer than others - this is strange, I knit it with one-strand of the yarn throughout, which all of my others I've held two strands together - they started out with a pretty tight weave, so my thinking was felt for a longer period of time since the one-strand item was such a loose pattern before felting - but N0-0-0-0, did they mention that in the directions???

Hm-m-m I think I winged that one, (creativity ringing in), so now I have a slightly different shape item than the one in the pic. don't know if I have nerve to show the pics - it is actually much shorter than the pattern pic. Oh, well, or Oh well,


I cannot follow patterns to a "T."

I think it may be rebellion. I get the pattern, count the number to cast onto the needle, measure like a true trooper till I've counted, measured and matched the pattern to my liking, then I bust out on my own, to make it my unique design. If it doesn't turn out I call it rebellion gone wrong, if it looks pretty daggone good, I call it CREATIVITY!!

Love it.

When they don't turn out, the gift is given anyway because it's the gift that counts, right?

see this blog post http://3knittingsisters.blogspot.com/2008/02/i-suppose-progress-on-andreas-sweater.html

I'm good now!!

If it turns out, it's good, if it doesn't turn out, I've learned so much in the process and the next item will GAIN from my rebellion, er, creativity.

Please comment.

Knit Together, Treasures and Jewels

It's kinda funny how the yarn, and scarves and hand-me-down jewelry are making such unique felt bags. The black and greys mentioned in a former post has turned into a felt bag with belt-loops, felt straps and a scarf woven through the loops. The item was a one-day wonder, the accessories were pulled from my closet. It's pretty classy. I'll be posting pictures once the items are sewn on. I'm leaving the scarf and scarf clip as free agents, as the scarf can be changed out on this neutral colored purse to give it a totally new look as the outfits change. Yep, this one is spoken for also, but I do have notes on the pattern, and yarn used. It's an embellished pattern that I bought from Patons.

You can buy this poster.