Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Snow Play

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

Too Much Fun?

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

Good Times

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

More Photo Ops

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

Birthday and Anniversary Today!

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 we are on the edge of the weekend. The beginning side, where all this evening and for two whole days I can get the things done that need done and do the things that I want to do. I was listing all the plans and projects I have for the weekend. I got about five things down and it hit me that I was not enjoying this process at all and I deleted that list.

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

Victorian Shoulderette and all that Jazz!

Hello! Sorry I haven't written in a while. I had a week filled with classes at work. I'm not sure why the mental thinking work is often more tiresome than physical type of work. Not that I don't enjoy a good mental workout, but it sure makes for one sleepy camper when I get home at night. I've been learning about this new software and how to create and run different reports out of the system. It's specialized and not an off the shelf type of program. This causes lots of turns and twists in the thinking on how to create something and link various tables together to pull the information I need to pull.

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

Fiber, Family, and Fun

I didn't get the chance to take photo's on the farm this trip. The rain didn't let up at all on the way down there or during my visit. I came home the same day, and thankfully traffic was better for the 100 mile trip North. I had a wonderful time visiting with my Mom and Dad and my sister, Sandy.

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

Quick Update

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.