Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Years Eve Post

You should check out yesterday's post to see where this beautiful yarn came from. I'm so excited to see how it's swatching I had to get this out for you tonight. I'm going to take the knitting down a needle size or two, and try a different pattern before I'm ready to start the shawl.

Here's Missy with her Holiday Bling!

Happy New Year!! Goodbye 2006. Hello 2007.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Special projects

I got a couple projects finished today. The handspun superwash Elecktra Light fiber made Mom a nice pair of socks. These were finished on the way to Onalaska today. So, one project done, I cast on a baby hat right away with the same yarn. It was finished by 7:00 this evening, but I forgot to get a photo for you.

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

What a Difference!

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

Big Balls

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

Not Much Happening

I've been working - a lot. The power went out for a couple days at home due to the big PNW wind storm. My photos in the dark are, well, dark. The ones with flash look light - but you can't tell our power was out when it's light. Trust me, it was out.

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

Give Fleece a Chance

Working girls need to have some fun too. Who would have thought some rest and relaxation would come from dirty fleece? I agree, I would not have thought it, but it sure worked tonight. Then again, check out what I got to work with! This photo is without the flash so you can see how dark and beautiful this natural colored Romney fiber is. I love the crimp and the staple very much. This is a ewe lamb fleece that I purchased from The Pines Farm.
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

Happy Birthday Missy!

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

Giant Frozen Chicken Alert

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.