Monday, September 25, 2006

The Challenge....otherwise known as the thrown gauntlet.

A couple of posts ago I made mention of the universe throwing down a bit of a gauntlet, and that I had indeed picked it up.....this has to do with 'lucky bags' and this is what my lucky bag friend wrote to me:

"What do I like? A tiny skein of something weird, that someone has dyed-preferably variegated and done at home with much swearing and exasperation. I'd love that!"

Having never dyed wool.....I figured I would have the 'much swearing and exasperation' covered, and also the 'weird', and certainly 'done at home'. So off to the yarn pantry I toddled and found 2 skeins of Knit Picks 'Color your Own', merino wool, that I had picked up several months ago, aha! Now to the dyeing ingredients.....I checked it out on the internet and finallly decided that the Koolaide route was the way I was going to go with off to the market, where I felt compelled to let the clerk know that I was going to be dyeing wool and not drinking this stuff.....and back home again.

Now to get ready and let the fun begin.....
Here it is in the dye bath.

Here it is hanging outside for photo op.

All nice and dry, I like it.
So....what do you think? Does it meet all the criteria? ok, it's not 'tiny' but the yarn is fingering weight, that's nearly tiny...I think that should count. She did say she's liking the brighter colours right now.....

This is the other skein I dyed, I mixed a few of the colours, wanting to get more muted shades, and I believe I did achieve that, this one I'll keep.

Cakes! I am so utterly charmed with my swift and ballwinder. The love affair just never ends, does it?

Here's something else I got to playing around with...stitch markers....pesky things won't be still long enough for a good photo (as if Blogger will want to upload anyway) and quite honestly making these .....there was more than enough swearing and exasperation.

Not wanting to test my luck with the Blogger's powers that be......

Happy knitting to all and cheers for the Sock Warriors!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Back now from Frog Pond

Yes, I took a little side-trip to Frog Pond, I made this bag a couple of months ago, no, I don't have a photo of mine, but, the Good Women in my knitting group will vouch for me that I did indeed knit up the front and back and had started on the gusset, they saw the front and back panels, but I just stopped knitting it, about 3/4 into the gusset, ADD strikes again.

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This is the photo Berroco has on it's site, it's a free pattern, called the Brea Bag, it's quite easy and a quick knit, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it, but, this yarn is so nice and soft...Ultra Alpaca...has equal shares of alpaca and wooly goodness. For a bag that I would use, it doesn't need to be quite this soft, and honestly? I really would rather have a much larger bag, quite like the one I made that's going to Boston. I also thought this lovely yarn should be knit up into something that will be next to someone's skin, keeping them toastie, I'm thinking of Fetching again, but making them longer to cover more of the fingers' length. What do you think?

So, this morning I went rooting around in the yarn pantry where I'd stuck the baggie with the bag pieces, brought them out into the open, retrieved my sweet beloved ball winder, (I am so totally smitten) and trotted off to Frog Pond. Now this particular bag is knit with two strands of yarn, and since I'm a bit overboard on 'weaving those ends in' it didn't take long until I was uttering some pretty ugly things about the character of the woman who had done this....'she's daft, whatever was she thinking!'......'the woman is mad, did she really think *all this craziness necessary?', 'she shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a tapestry needle and yarn ends', and finally, 'unbelievable!'. I did manage to get them frogged.....and the two strands separated, and no, I don't want to discuss that....helloooooo my darling ball winder, want to go for a bit of a spin with me?

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This is a photo of my mess, actually, this is a photo of my bit of happiness on the living room table, stuff I like to keep close at hand, WIPs, etc. of course it changes from time to time as to content but the bit of happiness is always there, right there, not two feet from my knitting chair, except for Thanksgiving, when I'm told I really have to move it somewhere else, otherwise where are folks going to sit and dinner??? Great indignation is what I feel but.....ok, do I really want 'them', (muggles all) touching my bit of happiness? I think not.

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Do you see that book?!? "Toys to Knit" yep. There really is a crazywoman around here, says she lives here...".oh, yes, what's it to you?" see what I have to put up with? She's always talking back to me... I do want to make a dollie for Gracie, and perhaps the elephant....and something for Conor, oh, I know he's 9 years old but I still think he'd like a wee beastie, plus the child has always been appreciative of handmade items, he is so hip to 'time taken to make someone something', he amazes me sometimes, his is a very old soul, I love this boyo so dearly, can you tell? Oh, now shush. I *am* his Grandma afterall.

The news around....Ms. Knitingale started her fall classes today, talk about an angel, and she's not walking around in any disguise either, you remember what those 'first day at school' days felt like? Cheer this woman on! Wish her well, the world definitely needs a woman of her character in the realm of nursing. Also, Jo has been having a few issues with Blogger...and from what I gather from the comments, she's not the only one, I had to upload my photos of monday what a pain. Hopefully she'll get her photos up so we can all see them, they are always and forever a big treat, she's also been very busy and I want to hear all about it. Jason has some beautiful photos of some trees, they're where kapok comes from, eh, go check it out, he's also been doing some spinning that just might possibly make you drool, I did, big time. Crazy Knitting Lady has a design in Knitty! a beautiful wrap sweater, called Ivy, and it is stunning! Congratulations! AStrikke has been knitting a Fair Isle sweater and has *just* pulled off her very first steeks, she has photos and everything....and if you scroll down a bit you can see a photo of her and Our Blessed Harlot both in their Icarus shawls. Lene is working on a twined yarn project, you must see, she is so incredibly talented.

The outside world is calling, as in mow this yard!

Happy Knitting to all, take good care, and make good time.

ps...had issues with blogger also, desperately wanted to reach through, grab some ear and say "Blog this".......I love photobucket.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Mmmmmm, Sure smells good in here.....

Today is a breadbaking day. I bake bread for my husband, for his sandwiches (which I pack for him to take to work, he hates 'going out' for food while at work), he gets a peanutbutter and honey sandwich, plus usually a turkey sandwich, some yogurt and fruit, everyday of the week, and never complains about having the same food, in fact, he kinda likes it that way, am I lucky or what?
I had been planning to post about colours and colour combinations brain has been scattery all day and I decided to just go with what I'm doing here.
This is a great honey whole wheat bread and if anyone out there wants the recipe, let me know, I'll email it to you, very easy, simple...but it does have an extra rise period.

Meet Ms. Blessyou, she is my best friend in the kitchen, mind you, not my 'very' best friend in the kitchen, that would be my daughter, Havala. Ms. Blessyou came to live with me almost 2 years ago, my sweet mother brought her over and introduced us, then...left her here.

That's Ms. Blessyou's close friend, as well as mine, Little Ms. Happycrock, she's just a darling, and doesn't mind the 'all day heat in the kitchen' at all.

Ms. Knitingale, you might want to pay attention here, well, really just kidding, I know you know your way around the kitchen, and competently at that. Here's the dough in the oven all snuggled in.

Here's the dough risen, this is the second rise.

I make 20 sandwich rolls out of one batch, here they are in their pans ready to go back for another rise time.

And now usually, this is where I'd stop them from rising more, crank up the oven, put them in and bake them...but...a couple of weeks ago on bread day, I 'forgot' about them, left them in the oven rising much longer than they needed, and they'd kind of collapsed a little bit on themselves. If you bake bread you know what I'm talking about, I mentioned to husband about the flatter bread, he just kinda nodded his head, "uh hmmmmm". So the next bread day I said something to the effect of...I'll be sure and watch which he said, 'NO, I liked it flatter, do it again." That particular batch didn't turn out the way he would've liked but today.....a better ending. Sorry the photo is a bit blurry.

It really really smells good in here.

Another little bit of granddaughter, Grace, was in a wedding, and I must, absolutely must share these, now if you're not into looking at pretty children, simply avert your eyes and try to scroll down to the knitting, (sigh, there's not much, I tell you).

I love that, with her arms up, she really is my Petit Wild Woman, although it was reported that her behavior during the wedding was impeccable.

She was also put in charge to take care of the ring bearer, he's 2, Gracie is 3. She took her post quite seriously

Here's Gracie and her lovely Mom, my Deiderdaughter, I can see that Gracie is looking out the side of her eyes, keeping watch on that camera business.

I finished one sock of the Father and Son sock, and as I tend to rotate I started yet another sock, which is also for the LRPD box, this is made with Knitpicks new sock yarn, Gloss, it's a wool silk blend, the colour is much prettier in person, a very warm burgundy, and it's soft, it's delightful to knit, and really,

Isn't this shameful? This is truly 'it' for my knitting...what have I been doing?!? well, for one thing, DH decided he wanted to put these metal corners on the outside of the house, but first they needed painting, that's exactly what took up huge chunks of my knitting time this past week. That, plus it seemed like there were more 'things' than usual cutting into my knitting time.

Next post will hopefully be better....more knitting content... and I do want to talk about colours and the universe has thrown down a gauntlet, and....I'm picking it up. I'll talk more about that later also.

And now me darlin' hearties, keep in mind tomorrow is like a pirate day....enjoy it!!!

Monday, September 11, 2006 good!

You know that change that always collects in your wee change purse? Yeah, the wee coin that ends up making your bag heavy...that's the stuff. I tend to throw it in a can, jar, bucket, I have a few of these things around the house (DH has his own) , well a few weeks ago I finally got around to sorting the change and now you need to keep in mind this has been going on for quite some time, so you can imagine how delighted I was that there was a considerable chunk O' Change. I spent quite a bit of time considering what I might want to do with this.....yarn.?...always a good choice, but then it came to me...what have I been hankering for..related to, the backyard is not large enough for my own wee lambie,.....I've been wanting a swift AND a ball winder. I had enough for these PLUS some yarn. Wow. I've also been wanting to try Knitpicks' new needles, and their new line of yarn, Telemark, see where this is heading.

I love love love my new swift and ball winder, I chose the wooden swift and these you need to sand for them to spin smoothly, so I sanded and set them up and let me tell you, I've been having so much fun, how did I live without them all these years?

I've also spent some time reading up through some knitting blogs, I've found Ms. Knitingale who is so kind, has a gentle soul and a wicked funny sense of humour, never mind her organized's a beautiful stash, plus she does fabulous knitting. She also has a recipe posted in there, brownies, I read it and had to fetch a towel to mop up the drool, make them, eat them but make sure you don't do this the day before a doctor's appointment which might involve checking your cholesteral, just saying..and please...don't miss the post about bike shorts...Go read through her blog, she's not been at it terribly long so right now it's a quick read, you'll be glad you did.
Then there's Lene , she lives in Finland and produces some of the most amazing stockings, has beautiful photos and the time I spend visiting her is some of the most peaceful moments of my day. She has a beautiful shawl up right now, definitely a must see. Jo lives in West Cork, Ireland and recently entered an Elann lace cardigan and socks in a fair, and maybe, just maybe,(but maybe not) her socks lost to a better pair, but I can tell you those judges were WAY OFF about her cardi, it was beyond beautiful. She's a lovely woman, quite talented, in fact there's quite a lot of talent in her home..go check her out, see what she gets to live around, beautiful countryside. Ted is great, I've emailed him a couple of time asking advice, and he's answered both times, really nice man, he has an apple pie recipe posted at the moment which sounds very yummy, perhaps a bit fiddly, but that won't stop me, the post prior to the recipe was a lovely read about apples and memories. He's brilliant with the pointy sticks. Emma just keeps on inspiring me, I've made a pair of Fetching and now she's working on a hat, not just any hat, me hearties...go check it out. I know when my daughter, Havala, sees this pattern she's going to start begging, big time, on her knees kind of begging, she's already there with the pirate socks, sorry, I don't have the link for that one at hand, damn. Sue had a ...'laundry injury', it's a good read and I heard that she's much better now, I was very glad to hear this, she's a sweetheart and very kind as well, she gave me the 'kick in the pants' to make my first pair of lace socks, I'd had quite the block, don't know why, do any of us know why? I've come to be much more fearless now, thank you Sue. Oh yeah, and Sue? I guess I'm getting this link thing down now, but many many thanks for offering help. And a big thank you goes out to this fine woman, not only is she a fabulous knitter but she actually has written out 'destructions'(that's instructions) for how to put those buttons on your sidebar. I had those printed out so fast and was amazed, because I am an idiot (when it comes to understanding all this 'stuff') and I did manage, eventually, to pull it off. The old blog is starting to look.....real...official...who'd a thought. Kathy has posted a pic of her granddaughter, what a beauty, check out the dimple! (I have a very soft spot for dimples) Kathy also showed me a wee video of said granddaughter taking some of her first steps, I loved it, thank you for sharing that with me. Kathy, as you might guess, is a quilter, but the knitting bug has bitten her this past year and she's just coming right along, lace scarf, socks, she's also great company. Last one today...Sheri has an online yarn shop, she's not terribly far away,(hey, a state is not that far), has yummy yarn, lots of yummy sock yarn, and if you read through her blog you'll come to a post with....advice on how to get more knitting time into your day...if you need that kind of advice...she also has a recipe for Monster Cookies.

Wanna see some knittin?

This is the bag, felted and finished, this bag is big, it's 21.5 inches wide (see where the bird button is? measured across there) and 13 inches tall, measured from just above the bird button. It is nicely thick and sturdy. The Fetching fingerless gloves, great project, gloriously easy to knit and very very easy on the eye, plus they're soft and warm.....they are going into the LRPD box. Such is life.

Another LRPD project, men's socks, and not for DH, but someone close.....the pattern is from Interweave Knits Fall '06, the Father and Son Socks by Mona Schmidt, she has three sizes to choose from.

Close-up pic of the bird button, this is really pretty, beyond pretty, I've used a slip-ring to attach it to the bag, seems to work.

Happy Knitting and To All a Good Day

Ok, I realize that got a bit much with all the links but I was just wanting to let everyone know how very much I appreciate them, and hey, I just figured out how to do that, I was having fun.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Happy Birthday, Conor!

Today is my one and only Grandson's birthday, Conor turns 9 today.

I've truly been blessed by this universe, my oldest son, Aardron, met and fell in love with a lovely lass, Deidre, they wed and eventually gave birth to this child, Conor, and they honoured me by letting me be with them for the birth. Incredible is what it was and remains to this day as one of the great highlights of my life. Holding this babe for the first time and looking into his eyes, I knew in a flash that this was indeed a continuation of a great love affair with this soul. It's been written and said that souls travel in 'packs', I believe this is true.

Conor has always been a true source of joy for me, I know all children have their moments when they drive their elders to craziness and Conor has his fair share of those but truly, he is an outstanding young dude. He's sweet, incredibly sweet, shows respect and affection for the oldest of elders, he's smart, and has a very unique sense of humour. When he was 2 years of age he started showing an intense interest in dinosaurs,now I realize that's not so uncommon, but to learn their proper names and be able to identify them, at least 50 of them by the time he was almost 3 years of age, this I thought was exceptional. At that point in time he would also tell you that when he grew up he wanted to be a paleontologist. Many books on the subject were gifted to him as well as checked out from the library, he was more than content to sit in your lap and learn, learn, learn, he soaked it up like a sponge.

This year Conor requested a vivarium to house a wee bitty lizard, and a computer. He knows his Grandpa (my DH) practically lives to build computers, so that's who he went to with that request. DH and I discussed it.......and dear Grandpa built him his own little PC. I don't know if Conor actually thought he'd get it, because you know, it just doesn't hurt to ask, so he was a bit surprised to actually see it and pretty much blown away.

His Mom and Dad got him the vivarium and they all set it up together, making the trip to the shop for the supplies and the wee bitty lizard, he named it Luanne. Now actually Conor was a bit torn in that he has this thing for frogs....

Today he and some of his buds had a party at the neighborhood pool and while they were there with his mom and other family members, his dear dad got himself back to the shop and brought home a wee tree frog. When Conor got back home, he went to his room to check on his wee beastie and came running back out exclaiming there was a frog in the tank!

This is Louie.

Conor is one very happy dude.

Yes, the birthday cake, Conor, his cousin Gavin, and his sister Gracie. (from left to right)

Happy Birthday Conor, and many many more.

On the personal knitting front.....I have knit the Market Bag, it's to be felted but wanted to show how it looked before's HUGE. And I must say, the pattern called for 4 skeins of Lamb's Pride bulky, but...I had to go back and get more, I ended up picking up 2 more skeins and with the left over I made a hat. I have felted the bag but need to attach the 'button' and will take a pic when finished and post it. These two items are going to be living in Boston, MA and commuting into NYC to a vegan/raw food/vegetarian/nutrition culinary institute. They'll come in handy for carrying whatever items needed and keep a very dear friend of my daughter's head nice and warm, and of course, knit with loads of love.

The hat, and ....yep, more 'warshrags', very possibly the end run on those for awhile.

And just to show I've not been a total slacker....

Here's three socks, all different, but still halfway there to three pairs of socks.

Happy Knitting All