Monday, January 31, 2011

NaKniMitMo 2011

I took part in National Knit Mittens Month (NaKniMiMo) over on Ravelry this month.

While the hedgehog mittens took me longer than I expected, I did manage to finish two more pair of mittens.

The Winter Wonderland Mittens from Classic Elite.

I used the yarn called for by the pattern - Classic Elite Fresco.  It's a cuddly soft mix of wool, alpaca and angora.  I really enjoyed this yarn, and the mittens are already getting a fuzzy angora halo.

Ben asked for another pair of fingerless mittens.

I used some handspun coopworth/sari silk yarn that has been aging in the stash.

These are so quick and easy - long tubes of ribbing with large button holes for the thumbs. 

I made five pair for my co-workers holiday gifts, all from handspun.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

It must be a coyote den

This is the second coyote we saw trotting past the house this morning.

Managed to capture this one on film:

Absolutely beautiful.

As long as we don't have any livestock, that is...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fail (and a success)

I picked up a long abandoned spindle today and spun for an hour while we listened to "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" on the radio.  The spindle had quite a bit of fiber already on it, but I thought I could add a bit more before winding off.

I was wrong.

The spindle was too heavy for the size of the thread.  It fell to the wood floor, bounced, and repositioned all the fiber.  I tried to make repairs, but finally gave up.  I took it to the ball winder to try to wind it off, but gave up.  I pulled the yarn off the spindle, admired it, frowned a bit, and gave it a toss in the trash.  

It was pretty, though, wasn't it?

Paul and I were able to go out for some snowshoeing.  
(Girl of the House, who spent the past two days at ski meets, declined the opportunity for more outdoor time.)

We found a den in the pasture.  
Coyote?  Fox?  Anyone know the distinguishing characteristics?
I love the indentation in the snow where the critter lay and soaked up the sun.

We'll keep an eye on it and see what we can determine.

And a success!

Hedgehog mittens from a kit by Morehouse Merino.  
Very putzy knitting, but definitely the way to a 15 year old's heart.

Friday, January 7, 2011

New Years Eve

On New Years Eve we headed out into the 6˚  (-12˚ windchill) cold just before midnight.

Crunched out into the pasture on snowshoes with sky lanterns in hand.

(Surprisingly, the long necked lighters don't work in that kind of cold.)

Paul trotted on back into the house to get the kitchen matches, while Girl of the House and I waited.

After a bit of a struggle, we finally got one of the lanterns lit.

We only launched one of the lanterns.  The winds were pretty high and they were hard to handle without tearing.
We'll go out sometime soon on a quiet night and launch the others.

Happy New Year 2011!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Grand Targhee 2010

We had a fabulous time at Grand Targhee over the holidays.

Besides the snowshoeing on Christmas Day, we skied four full days.

Ready to launch on the first day.

We snow tubed after a full day of skiing.

Girl of the House had her 15th birthday.

We had fresh powder.

Just an awesome family time.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Christmas Day Snowshoeing

While we were out at Grand Targhee, WY,  we were able to do some snowshoeing on Christmas Day.  On that bright sunny morning we headed down the hill to Teton Canyon Road.  There's a marvelous 13 km groomed nordic ski trail back into the Tetons.

 The area receives enthusiastic use on the groomed ski trail, but it was fresh and untouched for snowshoeing.

With seven inches of fresh fluffy sparkly powder on top of a deep snowpack, we couldn't ask for better snowshoeing.  We headed off the ski trail and made our own trail just a slight distance from the river. 

The Grand Teton in the background.
What an awesome afternoon in the snow!

Paul's been given the opportunity (via Snowshoe Magazine) to take some Columbia Bugatech Lite Omni-heat boots for a test drive.  
The boots performed well in the deep powder.  His feet stayed warm, dry and comfortable.  He frequently swaps out the footbeds in his boots and inserts Superfeet footbeds, but found he didn't need any changes to the support.  He's worn these boots while we've hiked in the Carleton Arboretum and they've been very comfortable for hiking.  Good traction on icy trails, and they've kept his feet warm even at  -10˚ F.   While he's accustomed to a slightly taller boot, the only thing he'd like to see improved was the lacing on the top portion of the boot.  Some hooks or D-rings would certainly make it easier to achieve the snugly comfortable fit around the ankle.  

All in all, he's quite pleased with these boots, and will use them a great deal this winter!