Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Little of This and That

Catching up on knitting pictures and projects - so a little of this and that.

I finally finished up a finglerless glove and hat set. The hat that originally could only have fit a doll - not even a small child. Yes, I know, check your pattern. Now they are full size adult hat and fingerless glove.
You know how you start things with the best of intentions...well, I started this little sock last winter for K and quickly realized that despite the pattern saying it was for 2-4 year olds - there was no way it was going to fit my 3 year old, or for that matter any 3 year old whatsoever, so I left it with only the half the foot and toe to finish and started something new. Today, though, I picked up and finished that little bitty sock. And despite the infamous SSS (Second Sock Syndrome) that plagues many a knitter, I shook my fist a the gods of fate and cast on and completed the cuff today, a good start for a second sock. So these cuties should be up for sale this weekend. And they are really cute, aren't they? It makes you wish you were having a baby, doesn't it? Yeah, me neither, but I wish I knew someone who was having a baby.

And for Christmas, someone special requested a gray scarf. I wouldn't want to give away what the gift looks like, but here is a hint.

Yes, that is a gray ball of yarn. 100% wool from Ireland. And that is all you get.

And for myself I have been working on a lace shawl. I have been wanting to challenge myself with a real lace shawl, so I am and it is going well. Although I haven't actually gotten to the real challenging part of the pattern yet.... lol and it is a beginner's lace shawl pattern. Some of those lace shawls are just so exquisite. Mine is in handpainted purple silk yarn that I bought over a year ago on discount with the knitting guild. It is beautiful and so wonderful to work with, just like luxury.... and all for me. It is going pretty slow due to the other knitting but I have time. This is a project you don't want to rush, you want it all exactly right. This is a small pic of the edging, lace doesn't look so great until it is blocked, so I will just give you a little tease.

And that wraps up a little of this and that.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Family Friday - Just A Bit on My Little Family

This was such a big week. We began homeschooling and I was very unsure of how I was going to do everything. But it went better than I expected. L did work and was very excited about his new lessons. K probably did more bookwork than usual, since she naturally wanted to be just like L. Although she got bored a bit quicker, she did a great job just like her big brother. L read parts of Mark Twain's biography and enjoyed it, I found a game on Division of Wildlife site called the Fish Hatchery Game - which is just amazing since he wants to learn all about Fish, we worked on math, social studies and science - which is all about Fish right now.

And we all definitely like one thing about homeschooling and that is lunch in a cave followed with a beautiful view like this

After storytime we took the pup and hiking. And we ate lunch in a small cave, followed by more hiking until we came to that gorgeous view. See how happy they are? Success.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Ooops, that did look a little small

I had started a yellow hat to match the yellow gloves I recently made. And it was going along nice and quickly - and that should have been the first hint. And I was zipping along, The Husband asked if those were socks - that should have been the second hint, the man knows the size of a head and the size of a leg and those were looking sock size. And finally I think to myself yesterday, this hat looks a little small, so I put it on waste yarn and tried to put it on The Husband's head. Not fitting, so I went to the next smallest head - L's head and no, not even close. Tried little K's head - she told me it hurt when I tried to squish it on.

Uh, yeah, looking at the pattern, I am about 30 stitches around short. It would not fit anyone's head.... so I pulled it out, started over and now I am zipping along.... just not quite as quickly.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

If You Are Cold, Put On A Sweater

Just like K does - although this was a summer photo. And yes, I made that sweater. She loves it, and picked out the butterfly button herself.

So, I am definitely the type of mom who tells you to wear a sweater. And if you are cold in the house, you should maybe wear a hat as well. I wear several layers of clothes when it gets cold. I can add and subtract layers as the day warms and then cools. I keep the heat at 64 during the day, which I admit is a bit cool, but I have a nifty swifty programmable thermostat and at dark it goes up a bit, and then you really don't want to know how low I keep it overnight. What? We are under covers, no one has suffered frostbite yet. Heck the kids sleep in blanket sleepers - that means they are basically sleeping in a blanket. And by the time we get up in the morning, it is nice and toasty 65.

The irony is that the little girl I watch afterschool on Mondays, well, she had a short sleeve shirt on yesterday. Sorry, not a good choice at my house. Sure, she wore a coat to school, and later she wore a coat in my house. Not surprising, I often wear my fleece in the house. Which is what made me think about that maybe I keep my house a little cool.
Lest you think I am cruel, she wasn't cold when we made sugar cookies since that meant the oven was on. Ergo, the kitchen was warm, smelled good and was a delightful mess from them decorating. It was nice and cozy and they ate warm sugar cookies and had hot chocalate.....

So if you are cold, put on a handknit sweater and make sugar cookies.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Today was a fun day. I spent much of the morning at the wheel, spinning some beautiful red merino wool that I will be making into Christmas yarn much like this.
I just put this skein up for sale today. Isn't it pretty and seasonal? I like it. I am really excited to add some little ornaments to the next skein to make it totally new and unique.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I Love Our Library!

Recently I heard about libraries that, wait for it, charge for a library card! Not a replacement card, a real card. What? A public library charging for a card? Not only charging, but charging $20 a year! Insanity! What would Ben Franklin say?

I am so thankful that my library does not charge for cards - and only $1 to replace a lost card. Recently they had a little calculator that figures out how much use you get from the library - my family gets over $100 worth of services from the library each month. From books and movies to storytime and Needlearts group and the incredible databases they have - I absolutely love Heritagequest. I can look up census records right from home - just cause I have a library card. Incredible!

Not only that, the people at the library are so nice. They greet K and I by name when we go to storytime. I order books online and they are ready for pickup in a couple days - unless they are really popular, then I do wait, but not for long. One of the security guards leaves books for my husband that he thinks he will enjoy - and he does enjoy them. What wonderful personal service.

This weekend I went to my knitting group at the library. It is a nice group and we enjoy each other's company. One of them even gave me some embroidered shirts for K. Another one gave K a baby blanket for her dolls - I guess a doll blanket. It is just so nice to have a place to meet new people and get together.

So thanks to all the library people out there. I really do love and appreciate all you do.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Family Friday - Russell Lee Brandt

Russell Lee Brandt is technically my father's cousin. His first cousin - but I doubt my father knew him very well. His mother, Grandma Alice, was one of 13 children and by the time my father was born, Russell Lee Brandt was about to be fighting in World War II, so there was quite the age difference.

Yesterday, we honored our veterans and Russell Lee Brandt was one of them. And what he survived is amazing. He was on the USS Indianapolis when it was hit by torpedoes from the Japanese Navy, it sank in 12 minutes. Wow! How scary - 12 minutes to get off a huge cruiser and into the water. And then for 4 days they drifted, were picked off by sharks, exposed to the sun and sea, and no one had even been looking for them! The military did not even know they were hit or sank until a patrol boat saw them. Out of 880 who survived the initial sinking, only 316 soldiers survived the sea. Russell Lee Brandt survived. I don't know how, I don't know how people don't give up. I don't know how he survived and over 500 people did not....

But he did survive and I am so proud of him and all the other great men and women who have served our wonderful country. I have many relatives who have served this country and I thank them all. Thank you veterans, thank you for the freedom we have and thank you for having the will to never give up. You are all heroes.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Good bye Old Friend

Scruffy has gone to the Rainbow Bridge, where she waits for us to come. Wasn't she adorable?

It is never easy to let anything go, but for Scruffy, it was time. The above picture was taken in better times for her. Scruffy found C about 10 years ago. She came into our lives and was just so adorable and fit in so well. She had not had a great life until then - she wasn't spayed, was missing teeth, had a hernia, eye infection and stomach parasite, her fur was horribly matted. But we got her all fixed up and she was such a wonderful dog, she more than paid us back with love. She loved to lay on the bed with C until she got too old to get up and down safely. I think she missed him horribly when he left for school. She was a one of a kind sweet dog, a huge heart in her little body. She loved to rub her face on the floor and roll around - we called it Scruffin' - as in she is scruffin. It was so cute. We loved her so much. But her quality of life had diminished so much.... well, Scruffy, I am going to miss you horribly. And I loved you, you little scruffer. See you at the Rainbow Bridge someday.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my son, L! He is now officially in the double digits and woke up so very excited to be 10 today! The picture below was taken a couple of weeks ago when we were hiking. Beautiful Colorado day.

Here he is with his friends and sister for Halloween. They had a great time out and about on Halloween. Although it is becoming harder and harder to find people who give out candy on Halloween in the neighborhood. Only 5 houses on my block! That isn't very many. People forget how much fun it is to see the kids in their costume and how excited the kids are to trick or treat. It is a childhood rite of passage, to get more candy than a normal person needs in the year, eat a bunch of "good" stuff and have mom throw the rest away in a month. Let me add, it really wasn't a holiday designed for a bunch of adults to dress up ridiculously and go to the bar - so stay home, stay sober and hand out some candy.

And happy belated birthday to my sister. I hope you had a very nice birthday, sis. 29, right?
Now that all the school ugly is decided, I'll hopefully be back to my normal (normal? what is that?) postings about my beloved knitting and spinning and Family Fridays - lots of interesting relatives. Any suggestions or memories about our dearly departed relatives - send me an email. And I was recently "elected" secretary of the Pikes Peak Knitting Guild - woohoo, another position no one wanted so I said I would do it. I all ready was the librarian, which means I have a box of knitting books and videos members can borrow.
I have some really cute fingerless gloves I have sold to the secretary at The Husband's school. She loved them so much, she wants another pair for at home. So finally a non-related knitting sale! That is exciting!
Life is exciting!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Love This Weather!

Ahh, it is really fall now. A cold, cloudy day with the leaves finally changing. A day where it is nice to get to cuddle with your children in bed in the morning - I am so lucky to be able to do that, this morning was especially nice as L did not have school. Just look at it out.

Isn't it wonderful? I admit, I was never a fan of winter or cold weather or any of that. Give me sun, lots of sun, lots of hot, hot sun. Weather to swim in, weather to camp, just any old sunshine. That was before I met knitting. Now, I am looking forward to cold winter days, the crockpot cooking, sweaters to slip on. Looking forward to dark winter days - spending them like my ancestors, knitting, cooking, spinning. But luckier than the previous generations, central heating, electricity and all that. Let's face it, no one in my family is really going to be cold if I don't make socks. But I am so darn excited because I love handknit socks. Look at these. They are so cozy. My feet are so happy and warm. No too big, not too small. I could not wait to wear them and today is the first day I can wear them this season! I wore them plenty last winter too. I love handknit socks so much I have made myself 3 pairs. And The Husband is jealous and wants some more for himself. And then K actually showed me some socks in a knitting magazine and told me she wants me to make her those purple socks- that is right, knitting requests from 3 year olds! Socks! Socks! and more socks to make! Shhh, don't tell, but The Husband is getting some more for his upcoming birthday. Bronco socks!

Enjoy your fall day!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Family Friday - Darby

I'm a day late (and always a dollar short) on Family Friday this week. We've been having a "difficulties" with the new principal at L's school and it has ended up consuming huge amounts of time this week. I won't go into it all here, let's just say there is more to education than test scores. Not to mention, my child does excellent on the tests, thankyouverymuch.
Meet Darby!

Isn't she the cutest thing? We actually got Darby from the animal shelter in August a few weeks after our van was stolen. Our old dog, Scruffy, can't really hear or see or run or any of that dog stuff anymore, so we needed a dog that was protective, energetic, aware, all that dog stuff. Darby is excellent at all dog things.
So far Darby is pretty much house trained now. She also can sit and will fetch the ball and return it 80% of the time. She also, of course, was recently spayed. The kids totally love her, pet her, run with her, and just think she is the queen of all dogs. Darby walks L to school every morning with us. K especially loves to tell Darby how cute she is. The other day I saw Darby sitting watching K, and thought that soon that dog will be in a princess outfit having tea with K. That is how good Darby is - no problem with the children.
Darby looks a lot like our old dog, Guiness. She will not be as big as Guiness, her paws are way smaller. She weighs about 23 pounds now at approximately six months old, and will grow a bit larger, but not too gigantic. She has huge amounts of energy, so we must play with her and exercise her every day.
Welcome to ouf family Darby!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sick - What a Drag

First, it was L on Thursday. Sick. Then K got it Saturday. My turn on Sunday, I was out until this morning. Why do mother's get it worse than the kids? They were over it in about 10 hours, me more than 24 hours! I can't stand being sick. And no, for those who know me and how horrid my morning sickness is (morning? Ha! Only if morning lasts 24 hours), I am NOT pregnant. 100% certain. Remember, I got rid of my microwave.

Now that I am recovering, I am hungry.... gotta eat. Too bad, I think I lost a couple of pounds yesterday. I'll be back to knitting and spinning soon.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Family Friday - Rear Admiral Paul Holmberg

Today's family history lesson brings you, my great uncle Paul, World War II hero. I am only going to talk about his time at the Battle of Midway today.

Uncle Paul, who then was a lieutenant, piloted a SBD dive bomber on June 4, 1942 and scored a direct hit on an ordnance loaded elevator on the Japanese carrier Akagi. Quoting from his hometown newspaper:

The resulting holocaust was further fueled by scattered bombs that exploded among planes waiting to take-off on the flight deck. The Akagi, one of the carriers which launched the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor six months previously was consumed by raging fires and later sank, taking many of her crew and airmen with her.

Wow, pretty cool. But there is more. His own aircraft carrier, USS Yorktown, was on fire by Japanese fliers and he was forced to ditch in the ocean. He was picked up by the USS Astoria.

He was awarded the Navy Cross for this effort. And he was awarded a Gold Star for his participation in the sinking of the Ryujo, in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons during the Guadalcanal campaign.

I am just amazed at what normal people go through in life. How frightening to know you are putting your airplane down in the water during a battle! What must one think at that time? I would be freaking out, but was he? Or was he the "John Wayne" type - no cry of fear? I don't know, but I do know he did something amazing.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just Wrong

I was at King Soopers (local grocery store) on Tuesday. I walked by the Halloween candy. Of course, it is all displayed all over the store and has been for a month. As I walk by the "seasonal" aisle, what do I see? Cheap, Plastic Christmas Decorations!!! That is right, at the end of September I am apparently suppose to by some ornaments for the tree, at the grocery store no less. I am horrified, but think to myself, well it is only a few at the end, they were just filling up the aisle, right? Wrong!

As K was riding the penny pony, I see MORE decorations. Yard decorations, flashing Santas, blinking lights, more tree ornaments, and more consumer junk. What in the world is wrong with us? Seriously, Christmas decorations on September 28th? Hurry honey, only 3 months left, pull out the tree, string the lights, and let Santa start blinking in the yard. I like Christmas as much as the next person, I like all my decorations and stuff, but there is no way "they" will convince me I need to start buying decorations for it now. Note: I do try to buy the kids gifts for Christmas throughout the year and save them. Note 2: I DO NOT need one more Christmas decoration, no matter how cute it is, so "they" are barking up the wrong tree anyway.

But if you are looking for a little Christmas cheer in October, I have your solution.

HoHoHo! Happy End of September!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Family Friday - CW Adams

Here are the words of CW Adams in one of several articles he wrote about his life and life in Missouri. This was published in the Shelbina Democrat, on March 31, 1937. The article is headlined, "A Reader 58 Years"

Dear Sirs:

I see in the paper you would like to hear from each one who has been a subscriber to the Democrat for fifty years or more. I was born in Kentucky, came to Missouri with my parents when two years of age and lived on a farm two miles north of Old Clinton in Monroe County. My father was in the Civil War and died at Kirksville, MO.

I was married February 20, 1879 to Bettie Collins, daughter of the late Hiram Collins. We went to housekeeping on a farm 8 miles south of Clarence in a little house with a stick chimney. The hearth was made of flat stones and we subscribed to the Shelbina Democrat and have been looking forward each week for it ever since, which I can still read without glasses, a record of 58 years.

In 1879 we bought a farm of 100 acres, paying $700, which we sold for $900.

Eventually we lived on a farm that is now 400 acres on which we lived and reared eight children, all now married and have homes of their own. In 1907 we moved into the property known as the Sam Shale property.

I served the county court as judge of the Western district for 8 years. My wife passed away October 11, 1935, and was buried on the family lot in Shelbina cemetery. Since I have lived alone, having my cow and chickens, also feed and market a number of hog each year. I am in my 84th year and still get a lot of pleasure out of life.

Back to me now. I have had a super busy week. So I haven't been able to work as much as I would have liked, but will be updating everything soon.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Family Friday - Elizabeth Hall Adams

Meet Elizabeth Hall Adams, an American hero and my great-great-great-great grandmother.

Elizabeth Hall Adams is probably one of the strongest, most amazing person I will never get to meet on earth. The above is a photocopy of a painted picture, below the pic is what is written on the back of the painting. I believe the Chariton County Historical Society now has the original. For those without superduper eyesight, I will summarize the above and what I have found out about Elizabeth.

Elizabeth was born in Kentucky about 1830. I don't know who her parents were. She married Henry Adams in Henry, Kentucky and moved to Missouri when my 3rd great-grandfather, Charles Adams, was 2 years old. They set up farming and continued having children. Six children were born and thrived and Elizabeth was the backbone, the brains, and the heart of it. The narrative above explains that Henry died during the Civil War in what amounted to a skirmish at Kirksville. Apparently a seven month pregnant Elizabeth begged Henry not to go, but he did. I can see that scene in my head, the anger and fear, the love. He did die shortly afterward, leaving Elizabeth pregnant, with a farm, 5 other children and family, friends, and church. I wonder if he knew? Was it quick or did he have time to think, to worry, to regret? Elizabeth and a neighbor went to try and get the body, but couldn't due to the war making travel unsafe. Later another neighbor brought her some things from his pockets and his horse. I assume he was buried where he died, there is only a small monument to the battle at Kirksville.

Can you imagine? Being pregnant, a farm wife, young children and no man? I can only imagine the pain of losing a husband so young, the fear of the future, the anger and love toward him. There was no social security. No medicaid. No section 8 housing. No jobs for women with children. No counseling for widows of the civil war. Poorhouses and orphanages, yes, but no one wanted to be in those places. Elizabeth stayed on the farm and raised those 6 children, she never remarried. Her children went on to be farmers, judges, shop keepers, wives. Elizabeth did it because if she didn't, she and her children would not survive as a family.

How did she do it? With family, church and friends and harder work than most of us have ever had to know. Her oldest son was 12 years old when his father died. I look at my children and I can't imagine one of them really being a man of the house at 12, but I bet Charles was. He plowed, he planted, he harvested, and so did his siblings and his mother. They sewed clothes, fed chickens and milked cows, they dried tobacco, they knit socks, cut firewood, they scraped by and I bet they ate bread for dinner on more than one occassion. But the point is, Elizabeth and family did do it. They grieved, they loved, they cried, they laughed, they lived, they built this great country..... and because of this we continue to do so.

We forget what makes a hero anymore. Money and power do not make a hero. Touchdowns, home runs, and baskets certainly don't make people heroes. Sacrifice, love, hardwork and doing whatever you have to for your family, that is heroic. And that makes Elizabeth an American hero.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Wierd Little Thing

I met a woman this summer who swore she could not live without paper towels. That is right. Paper towels. I mean, who needs running water, it is the paper towels that are really keeping civilization from collapsing. I never had the nerve to tell her, I don't use paper towels and haven't for several years. Not because I was embarassed or anything. Honestly, I didn't want to embarass her.

When I first gave up the paper towel addiction, my mother actually sent down some paper towels with my oldest son. Cause, you know, you wouldn't want your baby going without paper towels. I love my mother dearly, she is wonderful. But she also once told me you can't have a baby without a microwave. The stork drops off the baby in the microwave or ..... I am still not sure how that all works??? We got rid of our microwave a couple of years ago, so I think I am safe. But I digress....

My own husband would get pretty peeved when he went to reach for the paper towels, and there weren't any. How could he wipe up spilled stuff? What would happen to the counters? Hmmmm, were we doomed to live in sticky spilled stuff? Would I find the children stuck to the kitchen floor an hour after a juice spill? No, instead I knit discloths. Lots of them. All 100% cotton, all different designs. Some plain, some with fun things on them. So far, they have lasted and lasted, no tears, rips or holes, unlike the ones I bought at WalMart. And guess what, the knitted dishcloth work really well. They wipe up spilled stuff. They wipe tables, they wipe floors, they wipe counters. Then they get thrown in the basement and get washed, just like a towel. Just like it, amazing, huh?

Not amazing. I can assure you most of your ancestors did not have nor use paper towels. They would just not understand spending money on a paper towel, quite honestly I probably spent more on paper towels in one Costco visit than my great-grandparents made in a month.

Now I am not saying we should go back to using the Sears catalog in the old outhouse. And if you told me five years ago that I would knit my own dishcloths, I would have laughed so very hard, tears would have been flowing down my face. But once again, I am forced to learn never say never. I am just saying, you can definitely live without paper towels. Good for the enviroment, good for the wallet. And I knit a pretty cute Halloween dishcloth today. It will be listed tomorrow, probably as a pair. And a Christmas pair. And will do a custom order to match your kitchen, if you would like. And for cheaper than that box of paper towels from Costco!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dyeing Lessons

I dyed some more fiber this week. I wanted to keep with the Halloween theme and do black and orange. I did some black and orange sampling and it was cute.

I failed with the reusing the black dye. I should have known it would be too faded. Here it is, lovely dark gray. No it actually isn't even a lovely dark gray, it isn't lovely at all. So overdye is tomorrow. Black, fresh black.
Now the orange on the other hand:

Turned out quite orange, just like it should. And it is drying and awaiting its fate in the spinning wheel....

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Grand Opening Week

I did it! I listed some of my yarns and well, there they are all listed at Etsy. I'll be adding more yarn and more little knits every day for a while, so please check back often! Tomorrow I will be listing a couple of skeins of my prize winning yarn. I love it and will save one skein, but I have several and they are just beautiful.

Today I listed the beautiful baby alpaca that I love. It was so fun to spin and has such a beautiful halo.

I also technically had my first sale today. But it was to my sweet motherinlaw, she bought the cute Perfectly Pumpkin. I appreciate her being so supportive, she is like that.

So, I am officially up and running. Check it out:

Friday, September 10, 2010


I think I finally got the banner problem worked out! Yea Me! It isn't perfect, but it is pretty darn good. I probably will play with it a little, but not too much. Frankly, I am tired of the thing. Now, for real, for sure, my little etsy shop will open over the weekend. I'll announce it, and I will be offering free shipping to open.

So onward to more enjoyable things. Over Labor Day we went to the state fair down in Pueblo. It was very hot and very fun. I loved seeing all the animals, people, rides, arts, food - all of it! The kids loved playing in the fountain since it was so hot. I think next year I will enter some knitting and spinning in the state fair, as well as the county fair again.

Also, the kids and I went to the balloon festival on Sunday. Good thing we didn't wait until Monday, as the balloons were grounded due to the wind. It is so amazing to watch them inflate and take off. And the colors are gorgeous.

We had such a nice time seeing the balloons. One of my favorite traditions, I started taking L several years ago and we would watch from near the park. But the last few years we have actually gone to the park, which isn't nearly as crowded as one would think. After the balloon takes off, many try to "dip" their basket into the lake before going all the way up. And when they do, everyone cheers, it is so cool. Colorful balloons - the child in all of us should still be amazed by the balloons.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I admit I like the computer. I think it is a great invention, tool, appliance, whatever you want to call it. But right now, I would like to throw my computer across the room and stomp on it like a child having a tantrum.

As many of you know, I am trying to set up and start an etsy shop. I want to sell some of my yarn and other products. Sounds simple, right? Sure, no problem. Making a stupid, stupid banner has turned into a huge annoyance. HUGE! To the point I just asked, no begged, my sister in law for help. See I can make the banner.

Cute, isn't it? A little small in this picture, but apparently still too big for my etsy banner.

I have some beautiful yarn, I am sure somebody right now is saying, I wish I could buy some Pretty Pumpkin yarn. Meanwhile, my poor little Pumpkin yarn is sitting in the dark cedar chest, saying I wish someone could use me. And the two should meet, but there is a banner standing in the way.

Ahhhh! Computers.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

From Roving To Wristers

Several months ago I traded some yarn for this beautiful roving from Southern Crosse Fibers in Australia. It was so beautiful. I spun it up, below is a spun single lying on the some of the original roving. I absolutely love the colors. My son, C, did not think the colors were nice, which shows that even though engineering college people think they know everything, they obviously do not.

And after spinning and plying 2 together, I made these cute wristers, also known as fingerless gloves. They have a thumb opening and extend to the first knuckle of the fingers. This is a small sample of what I am hoping to have in my etsy shop on September 1st. I am so excited and nervous to sell my wares. All of those, what if it isn't good enough? What if no one ever buys anything? What if they buy it and hate it? On the other hand, what if it is good enough? What if they buy it and love it and buy more? What if? Since I don't want to wander what if, I'll be finding out after September 1st!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Grandma Alice

On a forum recently the discussion came up about what we remember about our grandmas and things they made and did. I started to think about my grandmothers - both of whom were wonderful women and grandmothers. Today I feel like writing about my Grandma Alice.

My father's mother, Grandma Alice, always made The Best Pumpkin Bread and applesauce. I can still remember eating pumpkin bread in her little kitchen at the little kitchen table. I can see the small refrigerator and oven. I have many of her old recipes, in her handwriting and it is so nice to look at that. I imagine her feeding my father and uncle some of the same things I see on the old 3x5 cards I have.

Here is Grandma Alice as a young girl. She probably knew how to make her awesome applesauce by the time she was this age. Look at that gorgeous naturally blonde hair. She was very pretty as well as nice and patient.

She married my grandfather and had two boys. Until they had to move to nursing care, they lived in the same house their entire married life. I think about all she saw and wonder what she must have thought. I think she must have been a very patient person, my father tells about going on a camping trip and every spot in the car was used. Including keeping the silverware under the front hood! If I remember right they camped for two weeks, visiting different sites.

Anyway, not on the topic of knitting or spinning. But on Grandma Alice, she probably didn't get the respect she deserved from me, she never won awards or "saved the world" but she did a very nice job raising two very nice sons. She did it with love and I miss her.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


This has been quite the crazy week. L started back to school on Tueday. My husband had 2 root canals over 2 days, instead of going to work. Lest you think I am an unsympathetic sort, my husband was told back in April to have this taken care of, and he didn't, so it isn't that surprising he had to have emergency root canals. And I do feel for him, just not as much as I would if this was out of the blue. Listen to your dentist!

On the up side (there is always an upside), I finally got some more pictures taken of the handspun I have been working on. I am calling this Peppermint Twist Treat, it is a 3 ply of merino wool I dyed myself, spun the singles and then thought they would look lovely together. I like it, I imagine it as cute cuffs on a girl's sweater or hat or mittens.

Next we have a 2ply of the baby alpaca I got for my birthday. Love it! It is so soft and wonderful to spin. Really, it spins like butter - no not really, I don't think butter would spin at all and would make a horrible mess, but you know what I mean. Smoooooooth!

Lastly, I did not make this, Mother Nature did. I had nothing to do with the cool dragonfly flirting around while I was taking pics in the backyard recently. But he just had to be photographed. Truly, Mr. Dragonfly missed his calling as a model and instead is just a zippy dragonfly. I am so glad he posed for me though.

Isn't he amazing? He just would not stop zipping at me until I took some pics. Now he has his 15 minutes of fame - lol!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Put On Your Sunglasses!

Put on those sunglasses, we have some very bright yarn below!

Well I warned you I had dyed some fiber bright blue and there it is! Bright blue, and doesn't it look smooth. It is - it is some beautiful blue merino. I am looking forward to spinning, but not sure how I want to spin it. Nor am I sure what I want that would be quite that bright blue. Ideas, anyone?

This yarn is spun from some wool remants I picked up at the Alpaca Show in Denver. I am continuing its name of Mardi Gras. As it is kind of garish, colorful, fun and pretty all at the same time. I even added a few beads in there on crochet thread, then plyed the two together. The results are much better than I thought possible!

And keeping with different themes, I dyed up some more merino into Halloween colors - can you believe Halloween is right around the corner? No, really, it is right there. Peeking at us from around the corner. Depending on your monitor, you can see that front roving is ORANGE. Therefore I am totally seeing a Halloween yarn - orange and black with maybe even a pumpkin or two spun in.
I am about 10 rows away from finishing a pair of handspun, handknit fingerless gloves. I look forward to posting those next with a little surprise.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Going to The Fair

For fun and bragging rights, I entered the El Paso County Fair this year. First, I have to say that everyone should enter whatever their craft or hobby to their own county fair - assuming you have one. It was only $5.00 for unlimited creative arts entries. And I won. Not first place, but for my first time entering I was very happy to win 2nd place in spinning.

That purple is my 2ply merino wool, called Lilac Mist. It really is beautiful. And the judge says it is a "nice ply job and has nice drape." I am really proud of it.

And I also turned in a K's yellow halter for the children's clothing category - 3rd place! There were a couple of mistakes and I knew it, and the judge did too! The main one was a goofed up stitch in the back along the seam and it was pretty obvious.

Last, I entered a purple v-neck dress (for K) in the miscellaneous category and again 3rd place. The judge said I had a knot in it - heck I can't find it still, but I bet the judge is right. It was Noro yarn and if you know Noro you know it occassionally has knots in the yarn. If I had thought I was turning it into the fair when I knit it, I would have cut it out and spliced, but I didn't so I didn't. Next year I plan to make things specifically for the fair. And enter the state fair! WooHoo!

I loved the fair! It was so fun, the kids got to see and pet a whole lot of animals. They also got to see all the creative arts, including those done by children, and now want to enter next year. I am encouraging hubby to enter his delicious chocolate chip cookies, I know he could win! I tried my first fried twinkie, it was very good.

Now it is official, I am the 3rd best child's knitter, 3rd best miscellaneous knitter and 2nd best spinner in El Paso County! Or maybe not, but definitely a winner at this year's county fair!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Best Birthday Part 2

TaDa. This is my beautiful jeweled box with the jewel lady my super talented nephew made for my birthday. You can see the jewels reflecting off my table. I think my box brought my good luck at the county fair too! Updates with pictures tomorrow on the El Paso County Fair results.

My whole birthday weekend was wonderful. I had such a great time with my family.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Best Birthday Weekend, Part 1

I had a wonderful weekend celebrating my birthday by getting away with some of my favorite female friends and family. Girls only! It started with my mother in law and sister in law picked up myself and my friend and we went to Castle Rock. I was so excited when our first stop was Stash, a cute yarn shop in Castle Rock, where we met another sister in law and niece. AND my SIL and MIL both gave me gift certificates which I spent on my very first Tofutsies sock yarn:

AND my first Zauerball sock yarn - isn't it beautiful? I obviously am a purple/lavendar kind of gal.
Now I am going to fast forward because I am in a hurry but want to post the pictures of the most amazing gift I received. My wonderful, talented, beautiful, bestest sisterinlaw created the best folk art - well, look for yourself at a couple of pictures.

The back wall (this is a decompouge - did I spell that right? - on the back wall)

Inside of the wood box are the most amazing figures - myself knitting with K on my lap, a basket with yarn and our cat asleep on a mat. You can't see all the details, they are amazing. The cat's one eye is open just a slit, like they do to check you out as they sleep. Look at the door, those are little clay pics she made, painted. I just can't tell you how impressive this gift is! Just beautiful! Totally amazing! I have run out of adjectives to describe it.

Now, I realize looking at the pic below, due to the angle of the pic, I look like I am going to stab the child in my lap - but I am not, those are knitting needles.

I just had to show everyone my sisterinlaw's work. She is so amazing. I have another amazing box her son, A, created but have run out of time to post a pic of it and my other gifts, as well as finish telling about the best birthday ever. So there will be a part two soon.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fiber to Dye For

I finally got to play with my fiber. My oldest son got me a sampler dye kit so I played with it. All of it magenta

First dye bath. Very bright and beautiful. 2 ozs. of merino wool.

Then we have some lovely cotton candy looking merino wool. That was the second dye job, as the dye was not nearly exhausted.

Last through the dye bath was 1 oz. of the targhee. It is a beautiful pale pink. Not completely even because the dye bath was pretty close to exhausted.

I had such a great time playing with the dye. I am excited to start mixing a couple colors and making the roving multi color. Currently I have brillant blue drying in the shower. And boy is it brilliant. Wear your sunglasses tomorrow.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Luckiest Woman Alive!

The Husband did not let me down. I can not believe what all he got me. Those big brown bags contain one pound of undyed merino roving, a half pound of targhee, a half pound of Baby Alpaca (and yes it is so soft it deserves to be capitalized) and a half pound of silk hankies and caps.

And here I am loving my merino.

It is so exciting that I don't know where to start. He also got me chocolate, slippers, a gift certificates for a facial, haircut, style and highlights, and massage, and to the LYS, a wonderful fancy niddy-noddy, a hand flicker, slippers, made dinner and cleaned up. He is so wonderful.

I can't wait to start spinning this up! Can't wait to dye it! Can't wait!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Today is My 40th Birthday!

Today is my 40th birthday and I couldn't be happier. I always thought I would hate turning 40, but I look at my life and am thrilled to be at this point. I have a wonderful family, healthy children, sexy, thoughtful spouse and am all around so very lucky and grateful for all that I have. And now I am learning to blog. Who knew when I was born 40 years ago that computers would be so powerful, so important and such a part of our lives? Well, I guess Bill Gates figured it out quickly. I am little behind Bill and many people, but I am going to blog about my fiber life, my real life and throw in some fun pictures and antedotes on life. Some days it feels like a sitcom!

I saw a book recently Coming of Age, All Over Again. That is how I feel. Except the book is about turning 50 and I am only 40. But I have always been mature for my age. Married young, children young - actually reverse that. And now I am 40 with 3 wonderful children of all ages and all with the same wonderful husband. And I do feel better, happier, and more confident now than I ever did at 20 or 30. I thought I knew things, but I know more now. Or maybe I now know that I know nothing? Haha, no answers or great wisdom was with me this morning when I woke up that I didn't have yesterday, but I do know more or know to question more now! So for all those who dread any certain age, quit it, the only alternative to aging is death and that is no alternative at all. Life is so beautiful!

Tomorrow I will attempt to add a picture or two of all my wonderful presents the Husband has spoiled me with. So many people complain about their spouse and forgetting birthdays and so forth, not mine. He is too awesome about that!

Here are 10 things about my life:

1. I have three children - 2 boys, 1 girl - 1 male husband, 2 aquatic frogs, 1 guinea pig, 1 Lhasa Alspo, 1 gorgeous cat and 2 canaries - so yea, I live in a small zoo.

2. I have an enormous, loving extended family on my husband's side and a loving not so enormous family on my side.

3. I had my first child at 18 and my last at 36. It was a big karma joke on me as I always said I'd be done raising my child at 36. I am pretty sure Fate is still laughing at me. And if I get pregnant again, well, that would be something wouldn't it?

4. I love my family. Yes, you know that, but I love researching my ancestors. Regular people who did nothing other than lived, loved, paid taxes, raised children (and often corn and cows), and died. People like them are the heroes.

5. I won't discuss politics or religon on my blog and rarely in real life. Why bother, chances are you aren't going to change someone's mind and you certainly aren't changing my mind.

6. Lucky Number 7 for me as you can imagine. Total 7/7/70 - I mean what could be more divine. And that is why my birthday has always been and always will be special.

7. I have not met anyone who was born 6/6/60 - if we did meet, would that be like some sort of sign?

8. When I worked outside of the home, I was a legal assistant. I enjoyed it as I did "nice" law - business, estate planning.

9. Hate housework. Which is why it is ironic I am supposedly a housewife. I am not really, I am a stay at home mother and a stay at home wife which I do very well, but the Husband cleans quite a bit. And that is good.

10. I am more interesting than this list indicates. I am fun and silly and love to dance to Dancing Queen and Staying Alive.