Wednesday, May 30, 2007

One sock finished

I was able to do a little knitting over the holiday weekend. I knitted in the truck while riding to the state park, and on the way home. I finished the first sock! I've got the toe done on the second. I thought I might use one entire skein for each sock, but then I'd have knee socks - so I'm still knitting from the first skein.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

First camping in 2007!

We went to Rice Lake State Park over Memorial weekend. We camped for 3 nights.

First camping this year! An actual record for getting out camping this early (for us)! Spring and early summer are Paul's busy time at work, and getting away for a weekend is very difficult.

We had nice weather. Saturday stayed a bit grey, and spat a little rain at us, but we just sat under the awning and kept dry. Sunday was 43 degrees when we woke up, but warmed to 83 and sunny.

Camping is so wonderful. You can relax and enjoy yourself without all the household projects staring at you saying "are you going to get me done, eh? eh? Whatcha doing?! Just sitting there reading? GET BUSY!!!"

We hiked everyday. We found another geocache (our fourth)!

We read and relaxed.

I read a whole book on Saturday. Maeve Binchy's "Whitethorn Woods". I love Maeve Binchy's books - they suck me right in. She has a knack for expressing real people, warts and all, and making you love them.

An extreme bocce ball tournament was held. As you can see, they throw the bocce balls through all kind of obstacles! This one was the area where I was sitting and spindling. Look carefully, you can see the ball flying in the air between the chairs!

Ben came to join us on Sunday evening. Spent the night in his tent, keeping warm with the dog! The kids even did the dishes from breakfast. Paul does all the cooking when we camp (another reason to LOVE it!) I do a little prep work, and the dishes.

I almost finished spinning my camping project. I began this last year and only work on it when we are camping. 6 oz of sundyed, superwash merino on my Kundert spindle. I spin it fine, then Navajo ply to keep the color changes intact. I have three skeins ready to go and this is all I have left to spin. Then I'll have to figure out what to knit from it. Any ideas? I think I started the project with socks in mind, but I'll have too much yarn. Feel free to make suggestions!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Paisley Lace Shawl

While I do (really) have a bad case of startitis, this shawl has been on my needles since last fall. I pick it up, work on it for a week or so, then pick up something else.

These new projects I seem to be able to see through completion.

Now I must finish this paisley lace shawl.

It is the Paisley Lace Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark, from Interweave Knits, spring 2005. It's a simple to remember garter stitch lace pattern. See the little paisleys?

I'm using a lovely lace weight from Joslyn's Fiber Farm. It is Angel Hair in the colorway 'Plumes'. (In real life, there is more purple in the yarn. Why is it that sometimes colors just don't photograph well?!) I picked this yarn up at the MN Knitter's Guild Yarnover in spring 2006.

I'm doing extra repeats - I want a bigger shawl than the pattern specifies.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Ali asked what pattern I used for the felted clogs. I use the Fibertrends felted clog pattern. You can pretty much use just three skeins of yarn (one for the top, and two for the sole and contrasting upper edge) - except for the really large man-feet. Boy, they are fast to knit up.

Yes, I didn't get home from work til 7pm. Remind me how much I love my job...

And now, without further delay, the Wallaby finished photos! Begun March 18, finished May 23, 2007.

This is one happy Wallaby wearer!

And I'm one happy (finished) Wallaby knitter!

Now, let's see what kind of knitting trouble can I scare up around here...

The Wallaby is finished!

I finished the Wallaby last evening. It's cool and rainy today - the Girl of the House was going to wear it to school. Unfortunately, I leave for work while she's still getting ready for school. I'll take a picture when we are both home.

Although it looks like I'll be at work til at least 6 pm today - surgical cases are going long!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wonderful Wallaby progress

OK, time to kick butt and get this Wallaby finished!

I decided to do a stockinette hood. You may remember, this is the third Wallaby I have knitted for the Girl of the House. The other sweaters had garter stitch hoods. I tire of the acrylic yarn, and just want to be done with this sweater - therefore STOCKINETTE!

The snazzy thing about this sweater is that you can try it on as you go. She put it on last evening before bed. I kinda liked the look of it as a sweater with a collar (an ulterior motive, you say?!). However, the Girl wants the hood. I put a few more inches on the hood after she went to bed. With any luck, I'll finish the darn hood tonight. Graft the hood and underarm seams, weave in a few ends, and it could be done tonight! I love patterns with no seams...

Ben and I went shopping last Friday. He needs a few last things for his summer at camp. While searching for items for him, I did happen to notice a few things for the house. Our pillows are getting pretty flat - and LOOK - they are two for the price of one. This required in store testing.

The interesting thing is, you can lie on the floor in a store and no staff members approach you to ask you to get up and act like an adult! We laughed ourselves silly.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Today we went geocaching! We'd been interested for awhile, but this was the first time we actually looked it up on the net and got out into the woods and did it!

We live next to the Carleton Arboretum, so we walked over there to seek our first geocache. It was a multi-cache. The first cache had the co-ordinates for the real cache. We found the first one fairly easily, but the cache box (the Girl of the House is holding it) was harder to find. No paths directly to either cache. We bushwacked across the Arb - saw areas we would NEVER have seen without this experience. The box was hidden in the foliage - probably much harder to find than when it was hidden - everything has grown up around it. We were so proud of ourselves! It took about an hour and 40 minutes round trip, and we only walked 1.8 miles.

We went home for a quick lunch, and looked up more geocaching sites. After lunch, we went to Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park for more geocaching. We found two more caches. We have always loved to hike, but now we have something added to the experience!

We saw the beautiful Hidden Falls in the park. We hiked about 5.9 miles in the Big Woods. It was lovely and cool weather (60's).

Yup, I guess we have a new addiction. If you want to look us up on, we are 20AcresNoSheep.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

More Felted Clogs

I Finished felting (fulling?) the clogs on Thursday. These are pair #6 in 2007. They knit up fast - I started them on Tuesday and worked on them in the evenings. I'm very pleased with the way the Galway Paint yarn felted up in these clogs. They remind me of a watercolor painting. They're soft, light, warm and flexible. I gave them to my friend on Friday.

So, it's back to the Wonderful Wallaby for the Girl of the House. The acrylic yarn in that sweater is not as pleasant to knit with as the Galway wool, but I'm coming down the home stretch.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The boy is HOME!

Ben is home from college! He returned last evening in time for supper. Yes, this is how he showed up - shirtless. Apparently it was warmer in Iowa. (Only 55 degrees here) Didn't take him long to put on more clothing.

He'll be home for about two weeks before he's off to camp for the summer. He'll be the boating director/camp counselor at YMCA Camp Pepin. This will be his fourth summer as a staff member there.
He truly loves being at camp.

I made some felted clogs for a friend at work. Plymouth has come out with Galway Paint. I couldn't resist these colors. They're in the wash right now, being shrunk up..

This is my sixth pair of these in 2007!

I've got the knitting done on the Baby Surprise Jacket. I need to do a bit of weaving, sew the seams, and find some buttons. It was a fast and easy knit, gotta love some mindless garter stitch!

And the kittens are growing. The mamas moved them. They now live under our front steps. It's a bit hard to crawl under and get much of a picture, but here's a picture. Three weeks old, more or less.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Small projects

The Lorna's Laces socks are moving along, albeit slowly. These are my carry around project. Got a handy new small bag at Target in the dollar area. Yeah, put small cheap fun things right by the door, and you've got me!

The foot is done on size 0 needles. The ankle is on size 1. I plan to knit til the ball is gone, but I've got quite a bit left - maybe I'll give in and bind off soon.

The Baby Surprise jacket. I'm inventing the stripes as I go along. So far, I'm pretty satisfied.

Last evening I sat on the deck as the air cooled (It was 92 degrees yesterday!) and knit. Sitting quietly, knitting, invites the Girl of the House to chatter away extensively to me. I learn quite a bit about fifth grade friendships and social politics. I remember how terrible middle school was with social politics, and it is already beginning. Not sure I'm looking forward to the whole middle school experience next fall...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Shepherd's Harvest

I spent much of Saturday at Shepherd's Harvest in Lake Elmo, MN.

I took a Creative Drum Carding class from Carol Wagner of Hidden Valley Farm & Woolen Mill. It was a fabulous class - it really helped me figure out how to use my drum carder more efficiently. I'd been drum carding with "book learning" only, and to see it done in real life was GREAT! I've been working way to hard at it - trying to jam too much onto my carder.

We learned to blend colors and even how to make a multicolored batt. Here, one of my classmates, Jenni, gives the multicolored batt a quick finger-spin to demonstrate the colors in a singles yarn. We were all very excited by the possibilities! We had a great group of women in class.

Here's the samples I worked with in class. We were using dyed coopworth locks from Carol's sheep. First I did the yellow, to learn basic carding techniques. Then we blended colors - I mixed purple and orange (looking for an odd combination) and I really liked the blend. The multicolored batt was next. I layered navy, pink and bright blue. We pulled our batts out into roving, and rolled them into balls, and all I have to do is give them a quick shake, and they're ready to spin!

It was really fun to see all the color combinations used by my classmates.

The three hour class just flew by. Carol's a marvelous teacher. I took a class in dyeing and spinning silk caps from her two years ago at Shepherd's Harvest.

After returning the drum carder and supplies to the truck, I went SHOPPING! I had a few items on my list that I was specifically looking for. This year, there was more fibers, and less actual tools. I was hoping to see some Majacraft wheels - I'm kinda jonesing for a Suzie or a Rose, but need to trial them again. No Majacraft there - guess I'll save my money for SOAR in the fall. I was also looking for some Strauch drum carder accessories, but there was no Strauch. There were lots of Ashford and Louet carders.

I always buy a new basket at Shepherd's Harvest. There are always so many to choose from. I got this nifty small tote basket from Ellie Lida. I bought a pound of Shanghai Nights (coopworth and silk threads) from Hidden Valley Farm. I found a new pattern for the Rambling Rows afghan (I've got one here somewhere, but I can't find it!!) and a pattern for the Babys and Bears sweater for adults. I've made lots of Babys and Bears sweaters, so an adult one is intriguing - maybe a use for those single smaller skeins of handspun? I also bought a spinning control card.

I bought this spindle made by Fox Den Fiber Arts. It's made of poly-clay and weighs 30.5 grams. I loved the multicolors and the flower on the top. There were lots of cool celtic shapes, and some with dragons and butterflys. It was hard to choose. This little puppy goes like crazy!

The weather was warm and sunny, a nice change from the past several years when it has been cool and rainy. There were more people there than I have seen other years. I hope it continues to grow. All the people does make for standing in line when you want to pay, but that really isn't much of complaint! There were three buildings full of vendors.

I walked around for hours, dithering about this and that. Pick something up, put it down. I really have a pretty good stash of spinning fibers. I couldn't quite justify adding to the piles.
Ended up with a pretty small bunch of purchases, but all in all, I'm quite pleased. And I'm not broke!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Broken body parts...

The Girl of the House broke her arm on Saturday. Ben was home from college, and they were jumping on the trampoline together. She didn't fall off, just landed on her wrist wrong on the trampoline. No tears, just "My arm really hurts".

Off to the ER for a quick xray. Fractured radius and a chip out of her ulna on the right arm. Temporarily splinted. We saw the orthopod Tuesday, and now she has a bright blue cast from hand to over the elbow. With all the wonders of modern technology, it's made of fiberglass and lined with gore-tex cast padding, so she can get it wet! Yay for bathing!!!

No soccer for 3 weeks. Well, he said she could work on her ball handling skills, but no running or actually playing the game. Unluckily for her, the first traveling soccer game is next week.

I've knit a bit more on the Wallaby, up into the placket. It's always a bit tricky putting a second color on the placket when working in the round. (Just don't look TOO closely on the inner side...)

I started a Baby Surprise Jacket out of Encore. I have never knitted one. Only have the very beginning, and can't quite picture the assembly, but I know that's a frequent issue with this pattern. I've got lots of fun colors to put in.

I like Encore for gift baby sweaters - it's machine washable and dryable, and doesn't pill.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Wallaby progresses

The Wallaby progresses. I've attached the sleeves, and now I'll begin the raglan sleeve shaping.

Yes, I know I should be out mowing the lawn, but that's the benefit of living in the country. Nobody but us has to look at the shaggy lawn and all the dandelions...

Kittens are growing. The two mamas are frequently in there together, and the babies nurse on whichever mama they're nearest.

Last evening I spun up the remainder of the medium gray lamb Coopworth fleece that I had made into batts. Now I need to card up some more. I hadn't spun much lately, and it's been very soothing to sit and spin.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

260 Yards of Coopworth Lamb

Finished spinning the light gray portion of the coopworth lamb fleece last evening, so today I plied, washed and hung the finished product on the clothesline. This last bit is 260 yards of approx. worsted weight yarn.

I'm planning to knit a Rambling Rows afghan for our camper with this fleece. I still have the medium gray and the darkest gray from the same fleece to card and spin.

This is the first major project I've done with my Strauch Petite drum carder. It sure beats hand cards for handling quantity, but I'm not 100% sure that I'm doing it with maximum efficiency. I'm signed up to take a carder class at Shepherd's Harvest on May 12. I'm really looking forward to it. I also registered for the Fiber Prep class at SOAR this fall (but registrations are not finalized till June).

Also hung clothes on the line today. Mmmmmm, I LOVE towels and sheets dried on the clothesline!!