Thursday, August 30, 2007

Plying coopworth lamb fleece

Spent last evening, sitting on the deck, plying up some more coopworth lamb fleece. This is a goodly portion of the medium color in the fleece. (I finished the lightest shade quite a while ago.)

Approximately 540 yards in 18 oz. It's a three ply. I have another 6 oz that I'm planning to ply this evening.
Is there really a difference in the colors, you ask? Have a look. Lighter shade on the left.
Tomorrow, Paul and I are off to the Great Minnesota Get-Together (the MN state fair). We're looking forward to some great people watching! There is NO PLACE better.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Last potholder, start socks

I finished another crocheted potholder. This one was made with some yarn leftover from my last pair of felted clogs. It got plenty big - 8" x 8" - but Paul says he likes them big. It felt like alot of slogging with single crochet, though, so I guess I like them smaller!

This may be it for the crocheting. I definitely prefer the knitting, but it was a nice change.

Here's the recently dyed yarn, skeined up, prewashing. Looks like boucle, doesn't it? Pretty kinky after being in knitted condition for almost two years.

We had a long car trip on Sunday, taking Ben back to school. Lots of time for knitting. I couldn't resist the colors in this newly dyed yarn, so I started up a sock. Just a basic sock, two circular needles, toe up.

We took Ben back to Luther College in Iowa. He loaded up his little blue jeep, and we loaded up the Tahoe. I'm not really sure how he'll organize all that stuff in his dorm room, and fit his room-mate in, too!

Our traditional first day of school picture!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Amazing - my diamond found, and an evening without rain

Friday night, waiting for the pizza to be done...

Every Friday night, if we're not camping, we make homemade pizza and watch a movie. Tonight, waiting for the pizza to finish cooking, we were able sit out on the deck. YEAH!

The kids were a bit rambunctious. They were fencing with old pool cue sticks. Girl of the House had Ben on the run for a goodly portion of the match.

Chip sat, out of the way, and watched intently.

Paul sat, out of the way, and surfed the net.

Pizza finished cooking, we ate pizza and watched "Spaceballs", a truly silly Mel Brooks movie.

Then Ben went out with his friends - why do people actually leave the house to start their night at 9pm? I guess I really am getting old!

Hey, Hey, know what?! The night housekeeper at work found my diamond in one of our operating rooms! And returned it to me!! Will wonders never cease????!! What an amazing man...

oh,heck, I have revised this a bunch of times, and I CAN'T get the fonts to be the proper size. Bear with me, eh?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A fairly productive day

I got up early this morning (my day off) and went out for a run before another day of rain began. 6.2 miles - I stayed on the roads today, the arboretum is way too muddy after all this rain.

Shopping and errands took the remainder of the morning.

This afternoon, between loads of laundry, I did manage to run satchel through the washer. It felted to a perfect size for our MacBook.

Now, it has to dry and be assembled. I'm looking forward to putting this to use!

In the fall of 2005, I went to SOAR in Park City, UT. One of the short workshops I attended was with Nancy Roberts, the brains behind Machine Knitting to Dye For.

Her nifty theory is that you work up stockinette swatches on the knitting machine, then dye them. You then ravel them, and have controlled striping yarn to make socks, hats, or whatever!

I have had these blanks in my stash for almost two years, and today was the day they cried loud enough for attention.

I didn't feel up to mixing my acid dyes (and all the protection needed), so I just used Wilton Cake Icing Dye. Nancy uses a stencil brush and "pounces" the dyes on, but I didn't have a brush, so I just splotched it on out of my little bottles. It didn't turn out as precise as it could have, but I'm pleased with the results.

Here they are post-microwaving. I've got enough for one pair of socks (the blue/greens). There may be enough of the yellow/red to make a shorter pair for the Girl of the House.

Now, I didn't clean my house (except to clear the counter for the dyeing), and I didn't make supper. But we have clean clothes, lots of food, and brightly colored yarn!

About supper: Everyday, the Girl of the House has one chore for certain - unload the dishwasher. Now, if you do this everyday of your life, you shouldn't need a reminder, right? Occasionally, if the dishwasher isn't unloaded by the time everyone is home for the evening, I just say to Paul "Where would you like to go to supper?" Off we go, leaving hungry child/children home to fend for themselves. After all, you can't cook supper if you don't have any dishes to cook in. It makes a pretty potent point (ooh, alliteration!), and the dishwasher gets unloaded regularly for awhile, sans reminders.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


So, can you tell what's missing?

Yup, today, while at work, I lost the diamond out of my wedding ring. Didn't notice til about 2pm. I'm not sure exactly when it disappeared.

The thing about working in the OR, it probably ended up in some nasty place.

We looked all over the floors, in case carts, storage areas, etc, etc. I refused to let anyone go through the trash - that's just TOO MUCH to ask.

Of course, today I was the float RN, so I was in all of the operating rooms, helping out. I was all over the hospital, too - in the cafeteria, the mail room, I went down to the loading dock to get supplies. Couldn't have been a day where I just ran one OR and stayed in that room, oh no..

In other news, I finished knitting my satchel on Monday. I was on call, so didn't felt it that evening, and last evening I was just busy. I don't want to start felting, then get suddently called to work. Tonight I'm on call again, so I won't felt it. I'm off tomorrow - looks like I have a date with the washer.

(new school pencil included for scale)
Finished Paul's Regia mini-ringel socks on Sunday. It rained all day - we actually filled the fireplace with wood and had a fire on Saturday evening and Sunday. We sat and read, played games, and knitted (well, I knitted). We kinda pretended we were still camping.

Regia's a great yarn for him - wears like iron.

Friday evening we headed out to my folks house in Wisconsin. Took Ben's girlfriend Jamie along, too. The kids were able to get out and play on the lake a bit, Friday evening.

We came home Saturday noonish. We stopped to do two quick geocaches in the immediate vicinity of the folks house.

It was drizzling, and promised more heavy rain - which started by the time we reached home. We got 3 inches - nothing close to the major flooding farther south in Minnesota.

(By the by, WHEN did I get my mother's hands?!!)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Vacation projects

I ran across an article in an old Spin-Off magazine. It described making crocheted potholders from smaller skeins of handspun. I brought a few skeins along on vacation and gave it a try.

I haven't crocheted since Ben was a baby. But it sure comes back quickly, doesn't it? Especially basic single crochet...

This is probably the fanciest potholder I've ever had. Wool, alpaca and silk. I had a few small sample skeins. I ended up joining two colors, purple and yellow. A bit homely, perhaps, but it is just a sample. I have alot of small multicolored skeins, and I think I'll try a few more potholders.

Side one:
Side two:

I did some more camping spindling. Managed to make enough to ball it on the nostepinne, just waiting to ply it with the next spindlefull.
Lots of driving time meant lots of sock knitting time. I'm getting closer on these socks for Paul!
Ben returned from his summer gig at Camp Pepin the same day we came home. You know, looking at the pictures I've posted of him, it appears he never wears shirts. But you can see the tan lines, so I guess he does...
Here's how you can tell he's home. A pile of stuff, dropped by the door. I expect the majority of this stuff will stay right where it is til he goes back to college next week. I know I'M not going to pick it up!

Monday, August 13, 2007

We're Back!

We've been on vacation the past week.

We took the camper and the jeep out to Wyoming and Idaho. I guess it rained a TON around here, but we had beautiful weather. (Makes me think of the Jimmy Buffett tune - "The weather is here, I wish you were beautiful...")

We left Friday after work, and drove through to Roosevelt National Park in Medora, North Dakota, and spent Saturday night. We took the jeep out for a tour of the 38 mile circle loop tour through the park. We did a few viewpoint hikes of 2 miles and less.

Lots of bison and prairie dogs to see, in addition to the visual treat of the badlands.

It was hotter than heck, though. 95 degrees.

We were glad to leave Sunday morning, and head out to Idaho. We headed out on I-94 to Bozeman, MT - then south through West Yellowstone. We stopped south of West Yellowstone to grab a quick geocache. Now, that was cool and refreshing after arid North Dakota!

We ended up at Grandview National Forest Service Campground in Idaho. It is on Lower Mesa Falls. It's a short hike from Upper Mesa Falls. These two falls are the last unrestricted falls in the Columbia river basin. There's a lovely little park at Upper Mesa Falls, with a boardwalk that lets you get right up to the falls. There's a visitor center made from an old inn.
We did a day of jeeping in the area. We went back into the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, and drove on some rough logging roads. We could drive all the way into Yellowstone National Park on some of these roads. The views were amazing.
After a few nights there, we moved on to Teton Canyon National Forest Service Campground, just down the road from Grand Targhee Ski Area in Wyoming. We got a cool, shady campsite in the tall pines. It got down to 35 degrees one night. brrrrr, Refreshing!

This was our breakfast coffee spot. We walked back about about 20 yards to this pretty little creek, sat on the edge, and watched as the sun emerged into the deep mountain canyon.

This campground was on the west side of the Tetons from Grand Teton National Park. We did more hiking in the area. We spent another day just sitting around in the campground, reading and spinning.

We've been to Grand Targhee many times, skiing, in the winter. This was our first trip to the area in the summer. We spent a day on the ski hill.

We took the Dreamcatcher lift to the top of the mountain, then hiked to Mary's saddle. We could see our campground!
It was a long hike down the mountain. We stopped and grabbed a geocache on the way down. Then home to the campground, and some good Moose Drool beer.

Friday we left our shady camp. We headed over Teton Pass to Jackson, WY and through Grand Teton National Park. Grand Teton had been our original destination, but we were glad we had been flexible and stayed on the west side. The amount of people and traffic congestion was tense and frustrating after our quiet week.

We drove to Shoshoni WY and were tired and hungry. We saw a sign, and decided to stop at Boysen State Park. Turns out there are many campgrounds in Boysen - we just stopped at the first one we saw. It's on a huge reservoir. We got a campsite right on the edge of the water. It was mostly local people, with big fifth wheel campers and boats. Lots of ATVs, too. Looked like a very popular weekend spot.
It was hotter than heck again - 95 degrees. It helped that there was a nice breeze off the water. We had a light supper, then settled in. Left early Saturday morning and drove straight through to home. Arrived home 4:30 am Sunday morning.

We came home on I-90, through the big Harley rally in Sturgis. (Now that could be an interesting post all by itself!)

I did do some spinning, knitting and crocheting. Still catching up on everything, along with returning to work today. I'll have to do that entry tomorrow...