Sunday, December 31, 2006
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Sam and Jen and Lisa all got together and came up with a awesome birthday present idea. Sam and Jen found a photo of my home town, Onalaska WA, and sent it on to Lisa to see if she could/would create a skein using Ony as the theme of the skein. Well it all came together in this wonderful work of art. What a wonderful gift.
I took the skein with me to show my family and to snap a couple photos of the Onalaska Skein in, where else, but Onalaska. I wasn't able to get up above the Mill pond which was in the original photo given to Lisa, but these are places on the farm where I grew up.
This first photo is taken at the front entrance where the old barn used to be. I spent many a morning and evening going out to the barn to milk the cow and/or feed calves. The barn was taken down about a year ago, but this tree in the photo was there as I was doing my chores.
The second photo is taken by the resting place of Sam and Trinket. They were my buddies as I was growing up. Sam was a German Shepard mix who was so intuitive and would console you when you cried, or could absolutely laugh with us when we were happy. He worried over the milk cow's baby calves as we brought them in from the field to the barn. Trinket was a toy poodle, who was anything but a sissy. She would chase cattle with the best of them, getting behind a steer to tug on his tail if he didn't run from her. Her heart belonged to Mom, but she was a great companion all the same.
The yarn is going to be knit into a Faroese -Shaped shawl with a pattern from the Myrna A.I. Stahman book, Stahman's Shawls & Scarves. I'm trying to decide if I want to knit the "Gracie" shawl, or the "Susan" shawl. I will do some swatches and see how they look before I decide for sure.
We had a great visit with my family today. Tango, the sun conure, was happy to come tell me his New Years resolutions. He says he's planning on learning a new word or two for 2007. Most likely it will be apple, and hello, but he will decide on that later.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
We did the early present opening this year. We had a very nice gift exchange. Our son received a plasma ball (one of those lights that looks like lightning inside similar to the one linked) and some electronic games, and of course socks. Wayne got a new coat and some tools. His sweater won't be done for about another week.
The ball on the right was wound on my small ball winder. The one on the left is with the new Royal jumbo ball winder that my family gave me. What a difference the right tool makes! There's room for more on the one on the left. It's a consistent tension and wound neatly. The one on the right is very loose and will fall apart quickly as I use it. I will rewind the one on the right so it's in better shape for my shawl project I'm planning with these two.
We also got a crab cooker for camping that will work great for that, but hey! It will work great for kettle dying wool! It's got high heat output and uses a propane tank for fuel. So - I'd say it's a fiber gift - but hey, use another pot and we got a crab cooker :-) It's call a Big Kahuna Burner. Now to find a really big pot for dying fiber. You don't want to use it for food if you've used it for dying, so I'll be looking at Goodwill or a 2nd hand store for that.
Missy found her presents under the tree and was quick to open them with a little encouragement. She helped others open gifts as well. She really loves to rip and tear things when she gets going. She's all tired out this evening and ready for a good nights sleep. Emma had assistance finding her gifts and she was very pleased. She got a catnip mouse that she rolled around on. She also got a door knob toy that has elastic and bounces around. It's got feathers on it and she think it rocks! She was batting it about for quite awhile this evening.
Tomorrow Tina is going to come over for a while and visit, but there aren't any big plans for the day. We are looking forward to spending some family time together.
Friday, December 22, 2006
Well, ball - but soon to be balls. Check out the Alpaca Lace I bought from Lisa Souza! I had her dye it bronze and gold. It reminds me of hay loose in the field. Okay - I'm a farm chick. This is great stuff! Someone else may have a more tantalizing description - but for me that description ranks right up there with a summer fair.
More to be blogged on this lovely wonder, later.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Wayne's sweater is down to just sleeves to be done. I washed the sweater and have it - gasp! in the dryer. I wanted to see it grow before I do the sleeves. I'm going to seam up the sides a bit more now that I can see how much it grew with the washing. Guess I'd better go pull it out of the dryer and see if it shrunk.
Um, sorry, somebody in my home likes to be in photos, and she likes warm wool to lay in. I tried to get her to move for a better shot. Wayne and I are thinking some antler buttons would be nice. It's going to have 9 buttons, since I put 9 button holes in the band. I found some buttons on the internet, that are sealed so they can be washed. Even if all goes smoothly buying them, it will take a couple weeks for them to get here. I don't imagine we will be washing this sweater a lot, but we can wash it in the washer (delicate cycle inside a mesh bag) since it is super wash. It's not meant for the dryer either, but I was feeling lucky and it didn't seem to hurt it. I got another skein spun over the weekend so I can work the sleeves.
Saturday, December 9, 2006
You can see it also at the bottom of the photo below. The dyed brown and green fiber is Lincoln fiber that I bought at a guild sale. The dye was not washed out well, and so I washed it to get the excess dye out. It's drying fast. There is 6.6 pounds of the Romney drying there with a fan turned on and a heater nearby. I gave it a good spin inside a couple mesh bags. I split the fleece into two parts so the washing machine would stay balanced in the spin cycle, so it's well on it's way to being dry too.
Wayne's sweater is coming along. Here's an update photo on the sweater progress.
Oh darn! Wrong photo! That's my fiber closet... if you've seen any naked sheep about, well don't tell them where I've stashed their clothing! Haha
Okay, Wayne's Sweater - for real :-)
Sunday, December 3, 2006
Today was Missy's birthday. She is 6 years old today. It was also Jen's birthday! So happy birthday to both Missy and Jen. Missy got a special bone, some Pupparonis, a 3 foot toy snake that squeeks and fun to shake, and a massage glove for us to rub her back. I'll let Jen talk about her birthday, but the time we spent visiting with her was such fun tonight. Thank Jen for having us over.
I was able to work more on Wayne's sweater this weekend, but between going to the dump, shopping and wrapping Missy's gifts, and going to a wonderful dinner at Jen's home tonight, I didn't get any sweater photo's for you. So, I will leave you in suspense for the next sweater update.
More Christmas shopping was accomplished today. Actually I was gathering more items I needed to craft and create into Christmas gifts. Now to get busy putting the materials together.
Saturday, December 2, 2006
They DO exist especially when the temperatures get into the 20's. I think this one is breaking out with spots as well. He looks a bit mesmorized. Petrified poka-dot poultry - at it's finest.
Wayne's sweater has a back and 1/2 of the front done. I've started the second side of the front and have done a 3 needle bind-off on the one side that is done. It's looking good! I hope to have a progress photo up by tomorrow night.
I'm starting up the Six Sock knit a long with their chain link socks pattern. I have some Lisa Souza heels and toes in black, Sock! yarn. I called her up and got her to sock some Blue Sky Sock! into the mail for me for the main color of the pattern.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
We received some snow! We only get snow a couple times a year usually, and it doesn't normally last very long. Here's a few pictures of the snow we have.
We feed the birds in our back yard. They are very happy with the snow here and all. Hey! Wayne said there is a humming bird trying to get humming bird food from the hummer feeder. It's frozen, so it didn't get any. I've been telling Wayne they migrate and he should take the feeder down that he recently put up. I am really surprised that they hang around in this sort of weather. Now, how to make the feeder not frozen for the little silly hummer. Guess I'll have to google it and see if I can find the solution. Poor little bird - it's very cold out! LOL - a nectar cozy perhaps? I've got lots of wool :-) Note: I found link that gives directions on this issue. Heat lamp!
Here's Wayne and Missy enjoying the snow. The snowy figure in the background is a cedar bear that sits by the larger pond in our back yard. The pond needs a new liner which we will get in next summer.
I went in late to work today due to the icy roads. I spent my morning separating Jazz's fleece and got a lot accomplished. I've just got another couple hours of work to do on it before it's all separated and picked.
We set up the Christmas tree. Here's a picture of it. Not too bad for an artificial tree I think.
It was rather frightening today. Wayne and I were in the grocery store. We had some Ding Dongs in the shopping cart, there was Christmas music playing on the store speakers. On the way out in the parking lot I caught myself singing "ding dong, ding dong, Christmas Bells are ringing" Oh No! The first Christmas song of the year - and not only that, there I was singing it. It had to be the snow, or the tree, maybe they were playing it in the store and it snuck into my subconscious, or possibly it was the Ding Dongs! It is only November 28th, what will the rest of the year bring?
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Shhh, don't tell Missy! We had a fashion show with Mocha today at Jen's house. Mocha is a little more exuberant when it comes to modeling. However she does know how to settle right into spinning after a fashion.
Tina came over to visit the other day. It was great to see her and get to visit a while. Missy was delighted! Aunt Tina is one of Missy's favorite people.
For my birthday, Tina found the coolest card, and put together a basket of wonderful goodies (chicken lamp, basket, table cloth, ear rings, book - am I spoiled or WHAT?). She gave Wayne and I a gift certificate to Dinner's Ready for our anniversary. I'm looking forward to checking that out. She's so sweet. I am really looking forward to reading the book she found called "The Egg and I". It was written by Betty MacDonald in Washington State. It was published in 1945. I hear there was a movie made based on the book as well.
Wayne and I went Christmas tree shopping. What do you think of this one? It came with lights already on it, and it certainly sparkles! Okay, this is one of two we got today. This was the last one like it where we were, and it just spoke to us. I'll have to get some decorations on it and send you all another photo to enjoy.
Have I mentioned I love the Elph Canon camera? It is so much fun. I took some movies with it today. What a hoot!
Thursday, November 23, 2006
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday today. Check out the tablecloth Mom and Dad brought back for us when they went to Mexico earlier this year. It made a very special table this year for the holiday.
On the knitting front - because I modified the pattern a little on the project I'm knitting (I used heavier weight handspun yarn), I ran out of yarn before I finished knitting. In fact I ran out of fiber and was at a stand still. I searched the internet and found more fiber in the same colorway. It arrived from Canada yesterday. I sat down and spun enough to finished the project today and then knit and hoped I would have it done by the end of the day. Hooray! The Victorian Shoulderette Shawl is now drying. I think I'll just let it air dry and not block it. It's soft, fuzzy, and nice and warm. I'm really looking forward to wearing it. I've got enough of the Top Knot in the Gypsy color blend of fiber to do another project now. It spins very nicely but it surprises me how much it fluffs up when plied in a two ply yarn.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
You've seen this before. In the back window of a older car, and when the driver signals right the right eye flashes, and left signal makes the left eye blink? Well here is Seth's impersonation of brake lights!
Then we have Ms Emma (another of Sam's lovely beasts) who thinks she can convince me that she was not really fed at the appropriate hour and the time has come and past and her bowl is e-m-p-t-y! Her family is not backing up her story she's telling me. She is oh-so-soft! If you could buy fiber that would spin well that is this soft, well I think I'd be raising a flock of Emma's. They'd be worth a fortune! She just a sweet cat.
Sam and I went to spinning guild this evening. They were having their sales night (they have sales twice a year where members can sell things at the meeting). Okay, I fess up to falling for another Romney lamb fleece that is so deep dark brown. I'm a sucker for natural colored fleece with lots of crimp. 6.6 pounds of raw beautiful fleece to wash - soon. I also found some beautiful Lincoln fiber in some lovely earth shades. I got about 6 ounces of brown and 7 ounces of green. They are all ready for spinning and will work very nice together. Here are some pictures of some of the areas at the guild meeting.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates it!
Monday, November 20, 2006
I wanted to show some photos from the new camera Wayne got me for our Anniversary.
Here is my favorite model - in the buff It's Missy!! Oh, alright, she's wearing her collar - no X rated pics here!
I'm still working on Mom's socks. These are handspun superwash Merino dyed by Lisa Souza. The colorway is Elektra Lite.
Tomorrow night is spinning guild meeting and sales month. So, ample opportunity will present itself for more blog fodder :-)
The camera if you are interested is a Canon Elph SD700IS. Now to learn how to do lots of stuff with it. I've got a good friend who was telling me that "lots of stuff" happens in the feed room where she works. I love that saying ;-)
Friday, November 17, 2006
Here is the problem: I am creating check lists at work for tasks that have to be signed, dated, approved, etc. They are important because they are milestones created for showing that all aspects of the job are carried out and processes are followed. I am not naturally the type of person that writes down everything that needs to happen before I do it. My husband is a list maker by nature. If I am going to the store he asks me if I want him to make me a list. After being married to this wonderful man for nearly 23 years (this coming Monday is our 23rd Wedding Anniversary) I know that sometimes I do forget things that he has requested - so I take the list with me. I think I forget things more now than I did 10 years ago. 10 years ago I used to get annoyed that he would always ask if I wanted a list. Now I am thankful, but deep in my heart I am not a list person. As I tell my son, the reason they pay you to do things at work is because it's not something you would normally do without being paid to do it. Is that sad or just practical?
Someday I would like to move to the country have a small flock of sheep and possibly have a wool cleaning business. I would teach beginning spinning to encourage want-to-be spinners to give it a whirl. That's about the extent of my list for what I'd like to be doing. If I truly want to get it done, I'll need to share that with my husband. He could write it all out and have a golden list of the steps needed to reach that goal. He is amazing. It's a good thing I married him! I suppose I'm a dreamer and he's a doer. We work well together. He is my friend, he is the love of my life. I don't need a list - I've got Wayne to help me reach my dreams.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
I found a pattern by Sivia Harding Knit Design called the Victorian Shoulderette at a local yarn shop, Village Tea and Yarn. I was so happy to discover this pattern that I can do without a lot of yardage (pattern calls for 250 yards) of yarn. I just so happened to have some handspun that I've been wanting to make into something special, and this will be it! I couldn't stand to wait and cast on the shoulderette yesterday. I have modified the pattern a little so I could put a button closure on the neckline. I did this by adding a few stitches to the cast on and working them in so the lace pattern would come out when I got to that point. It's also done in a heavier gauge yarn than the pattern called for, so it's being knit on size 8 instead of size 6 needles. I love how it's turning out. I just need to knit the outer edge on it, though I may decide to change over to a solid color handspun for that so the lace shows up better. Here's a photo of the progress made in just one day.
I have been working with Jazz's fleece again. I took her with me to Sam's home just to show her how cool it is to pull the two coats apart. I am hooked on how fun this is. I think Sam has fallen for the process as well. It's not fast, but it's very cool how the two coats just slide apart when pulled at both ends. We've made a lot of progress on the fleece so far. Jazz is owned by Misty View Farm in Newberg Oregon. Don't be getting any ideas though, I've already written her owner to see about reserving the purchase of the 2007 fleece from Ms Jazz :-o Below is a photo of the two coats that have already been separated. The outter coat is called the Tog and it is coarse. The softer undercoat is called the Thel. I'll have to remember which is which. I think Tog sounds like a rough and tough individual, if it were a persons name. That may help me remember. The lighter colored fiber is the Thel, and the darker fiber is the Tog in the photo below, but it's sort of a mix since not all of the Thel is light and not all of the Tog is dark. It may be my imagination, but I think you can actually see the difference in the texture in this photo. Double click the picture to enlarge and see if you agree.
I've been working on some socks for my Mom with the Elektra Lite (special request to leave more white in the fiber) superwash merino that I spun. This is some from Lisa Souza and it is so very soft! Mom loves blue, so these should be just right for her. I should have taken a photo for you all. Perhaps later in the week I'll get sock #2 done and can proudly show that I indeed finished them both :-)
I say to the Lorax, I have not forgotten Wayne's Sweater, but finishing it sooner will not mean it's better. (sorry, couldn't resist a little rhyme for Dr. Seuss) I'm working on it!!! Honest! :-) I've spun two more bobbins of singles for the project. One more to go before I ply it into a skein. Since I'm knitting and spinning on the same project, thank goodness for two spinning wheels! I like to keep a skein ahead of the knitting. In other words, when I am knitting on the last skein I have ready to go, I get worried and start getting the other skein finished so I have one in reserve so it can be washed and dried before it's started to get knit into the sweater. So far - so good with this method - I just don't have as much knitting to show for it.
Hey, I'm a new Aunt! Check out Stacy's blog and see a photo of the newest relation, Liam Alrik. Born November 8th, 2006 at 10:19 pm. 8 pounds, 15 ounces (4052 grams) 21.5 inches. He's a cutie!
Sunday, November 5, 2006
Sandy gave me a birthday gift that made me smile. I'm sure it will give others a smile as well. She took the photo of Dad and I when we were crab fishing and had a cup made for me. Here's the cup and caption!
Mom and Dad gave me a necklace (seen with the cup). It's a beautiful thick chain and it's a great length for wearing with sweaters or just whenever. It's very comfortable and doesn't pinch :-)
Tina got some buffalo fiber on-line and shared it with me. I've spun a little on the drop spindle to see how it goes. It really is nice! I am excited about sitting at the wheel and working this up.
Tina also passed on a gift from Bijoux, her fiber bunny. Bijoux had been brushed on Thursday and this is part of the day's brushing. Tina says Bijoux is very patient with being brushed and likes to sit beside her on the chair. When she's had enough brushing she gives Tina "the look" (I'll have to experience it - I've never gotten "the look" from a bunny before). This fiber is SO soft! It's like a cloud of warmth in your hand.
Sam gave me some wonderful fiber that I can dye and spin or spin and dye (decisions, decisions!) and it is so soft and wonderful. It's superwash merino and silk. There's enough there for me to do something really nice.
I have been working on Wayne's sweater. I'm doing the back right now, and it's over 1/2 way knit. It's out of some handspun superwash roving I purchased online.
Here we have Snickers, the lonesome diamond dove. His mate passed away last year and he's in need of some company of his own kind. I would like to see this little male either go to a home with other diamond doves, or I would like to get a friend for him. He's at least 3 years old, and he's a sweetheart. He's not used to being handled but I thought for this on line dating advertisement, a photo was necessary ;-) As you can see, diamond doves are tiny doves about the size of a small parakeet. They have a nice cooing song, though I suppose in large numbers it would be quite loud. There are various colorations of diamond doves. I'm not sure what color Snickers is, but he has chocolate looking wing tips, and he's a little nutty - thus his name.
You may have noticed I have created a Unalong group list (see the button to the right) I did it as a lark, because I don't seem to do real well doing true knit alongs. I figure a Unalong is just my cup of tea. Now that I think of it, there is a good reason to have a Unalong. I can't post about my fiber happenings on my blog for anyone that I want to surprise. I don't know if many of my friends or family read my blog, but if they do they would see what I'm up to here. The Unalong rule is that we can't disclose specifically what we are working on, so even if friends join there they won't know what each other is working on. Okay it's silly, but it's fun to be part of a secret fiber society. Admit it, we've knit with (or stared dumbfounded at) double otts and we've knit with sevens - just put them together and we're 007 secret fiber fan. Okay, there's too many fiber/knitting groups it seems, this one may just stay secret for a long, long time :-) Click on the button for the Unalong and read more about it if you'd like.
Saturday, November 4, 2006
This is the small pond project. We haven't gotten it finished yet, but we need to wrap it up before ice damages the pond liner. Yes, there is a large pond project as well, but that's another story.
I hope to have some new photos for you by the end of the weekend. I'm going to my parents today and there's a big wind storm brewing for the weekend. Perhaps I'll find something interesting, but not damaging to photograph for you. We shall see!
I've lost 15 pounds over the last 7 weeks. I probably have gained some this current week with Halloween parties at work and candy still so abundant. I actually am doing much better this year than in the past and I think my awareness of what I am eating is really helping me. I'll just take the days one at a time and work towards better health habits. This is supposed to be a life change and not a diet, so I'll be good to myself rather than dwell on the negatives.
We are coming up on the year end schedule for payroll. This is the season where we get to dress down for work (jeans, t-shirt, tennis shoes), and we work late, and through lunch, and quite often on weekends. It's the time of the year when employers do a lot of their bonus payouts, vacation buy backs, or whatever before the year ends. It's the time of the year when employees are wanting to have corrections made that they just discovered from when they moved but didn't update their payroll records so they paid tax in the wrong local jurisdiction, or they were transferred to another work location but their records didn't get updated to us for a cycle or two. We get very busy this time of year through January. So the "holiday season" really is busy for me with work related issues, gift knitting, and the holidays themselves. I'm looking forward to it! Oh the power of positive thinking :-)
I got a new MP3 player this week. If you know of any good pod casts that fit in with my sense of humor or interests, let me know! I'm a newbie to this stuff but it's fun learning about what's available.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Here is a beautiful bees wax candle my wonderful friend Sheila sent me. It's hard to get a good photo with such a lovely sheen on the wax, but it smells wonderful and is so cool! I have this "thing" for chickens. I collect chicken figures and have chicken calendars at work, etc. This lovely creation will be on my hearth. Sheila and Michael, thank you so much for the lovely, early, birthday present! You know what this farm girl likes :-)
Speaking a great friends, it was so fun to spend the day with Sam and Tina at the Knit In, Crochet Too event today at our local yarn shop. Here's a photo of some of us that participated in the fashion show of hand knits and crocheted items. Sam's peacock blue Port Orford Pullover was modeled by a young man who went from "I don't want to wear it in the fashion show" to "Mom! I want a sweater just like this!" The sweater is beautiful, looked great on the lad, and of course it was knit so beautifully by Sam. Smart kid!
I had a wonderful time visiting and spinning today. I worked on Wayne's sweater yarn. I finished the Crown Mountain, Midnight Hour fiber last night. I had to get my wheel cleared so I put the pedal to the metal so to speak and got 'er done!
There were some people who came by and had questions about spinning and how to get started. It was fun to be able to help them learn about spinning.
I also got to watch as two young ladies learned how to knit today. It's such fun watching them get all excited about the craft. We did the wave for the new knitters - what a great bunch of people that were there to cheer on the newbies. I love fiber folk.
I picked up the new Vogue Knitting magazine and a Lucy Neatby pattern, The Duck Sweater. I really love the pattern, but it's going to be some time before I try and take that one on. I've got too many projects on the needles now, and some others already planned after I finish what's going on right now. Plus there's the Christmas knitting I want to get done. Maybe next fall I'll be at the point to try this out.
I have been tempted by these bracelet's for some time. The last drawing of the day, I won this one at the Knit In. Tina won one earlier in the day too. What a neat surprise.
Monday, October 23, 2006
The buttons ride above the tops of my sneakers. I tried them on to be sure, and it's all good. I have to also thank my friend Jen - she was thinking when she asked me, "do you have any thongs to wear with your socks? The summer sales are almost over!" I started to laugh, but you know what? I didn't have any!! So thank you Jen for thinking of the "little" things - like how I was going to even show how great these are to wear with thongs :-) Gart sports had these babies for 1/2 price! What a deal.
If you haven't see it before - the knitting under my foot is Missy's dog bed - but you all know where she really sleeps at night. She likes to snuggle in her hand knit bed when she's on guard duty in the lazy-boy, or when we go for trips in the pickup truck. When Missy isn't looking, Miss Emma likes to snuggle up on the knitted bed now and then too.
And now, back to Wayne's sweater - already in progress....
TO BE CONTINUED
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Remember the Daliahs I planted so late in the year? Well they are blooming and happy, but won't be much longer with the frost coming. I thought I'd better show you them before the frost gets them. I'll dig them up and save the bulbs for next year after the first frost.
I put my birdwing begonia outside under the table on the deck this summer. It sure likes it outside! I need to bring it in before it gets too cold for it. I always feel bad for it when it starts dropping leaves and looking sad inside out house.
Here's a shot of another spinner at my home. This little fellow lives in the Daliahs. He'll be as big as a large grape in another month.
On the left side and upper right of this basket is Jazz's fleece so you can see how the two coats look when separated. There are some silver guard hairs I'm finding, so my guard hair pile will take up some black and silver together when I'm done. There is hardly any black under coat, so my softer pile will pretty much be silver only.
Emma was following me around, rubbing against my legs. She is pretending she's really interested in the grass, but she's actually waiting for me to open the sliding door so she can slip into the house. She's pretty good at her deception, but I know her motives.
These little birds were happy to see Emma go into the house! They were coming into the feeder before I was even done filling it today. We get lots of different birds from Stellar Jays to chickadees. They are a lot of fun to watch.
Last, Wayne and I love these red bushes that are in the business park near us. We don't know what they are called, but they have green leaves most of the time, they turn this beautiful red color in the fall, and they have little red berries on the bushes. If you know what they are, drop me a line. We'd like to get some of these.