Friday, September 30, 2005


I haven't made very much progress on Birch. Pardon the fuzzy picture; my camera doesn't do well on close-up knitting
I started the ribbing on Inishmore. I'm using Harrisville Orchid - a wool/silk/mohair single ply yarn. It's very nice to knit with.

I've been plugging away on the Mystery Shawl; most people are done with theirs, but I'm just finishing up the 4th clue. I call it my Parking Lot Shawl, because I spend so much time sitting in parking lots waiting for this handsome guy:
Yep, that's the tuba he marches with! He looks so grown-up to me; it's hard to believe that he just turned 13 a few months ago. ("Tuba Players don't smile, Mom!") The average practice schedule for marching band: Tuesday & Wednesday, 3:00 - 5:00 (and on Tuesdays he has sectionals until 7:30), Thursday, 6:00 - 9:00, Friday nights are football games, and every second or third Saturday is a competition. (Last Saturday's competition in Massillon had a pickup time of 1:30 AM!) The director usually doesn't let them out on time, I get a lot of knitting done in the parking lot.

Gracie loves to play with the kittens. They end up wet and slimy every time she goes outside. The kitten on the right disappeared last Saturday afternoon - we think she either ended up riding to the grocery store in the undercarriage of the car, or a hawk got her. We lost one out of the last litter when it got into the engine of my Durango when I was leaving for the grocery store. :-( (we need homes for the other three, by the way - and there's also a white siamese-type that's not in the picture. Anybody need a kitten?) Momma is a beautiful calico stray that was dropped off at our house - she's getting spayed in 2 weeks...

This is one of the kittens - Kevin named him No-Butt, but I call him Baloo. He is less than hlf the size of the other kittens, but he's fiestier than any of them!

We got a new couch about a week and a half ago (yay! my first new couch!!) We used beanbags for the kids to sit on for the two days we were waiting for the couch...but the kids didn't get to use them very much, as you can see:

Monday, September 26, 2005

My Swift is crying...

About 6 months ago, I bought this skein of yarn from somebody on the KnitSwap list.

It is a HUGE skein of very nice millspun wool.


Whoever was running the skeiner at this particular mill should be taken out and beaten with a large stick. It was twisted and tangled - all while being tied off in four places!

My swift was NOT happy with me when I did this to it:

It was groaning the entire time I was running the ball winder! After an hour, and many stops and starts to rotate the megaskein on the swift, I got this:

This yarn is nearly identical to Briggs & Little Regal - and I wound these to the same size balls as as skein of Regal. Regal has 272 yards in a skein; I'd have to guess that these have at *least* 250 yards each, and I managed to get 4-1/2 balls. That's a big skein of yarn! :-)

Now I have to figure out what to make...

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Another Knitting Airedale owner!!

When you get the chance, check out blueadt_knits! She has a beatiful blog - the scenery in some of the pictures is gorgeous, and so are her Airedales, Blue and Annie. I was starting to wonder if I was alone in the world, but there IS another ADT-loving knitter! :-)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

It's here!

Woohoo! My gift from my Secret Pal is here! Remember this? Well, It has been translated into this

Three beautiful skeins of Bartlett yarn in Charcoal, Blackberry and Mountain Blue. I loooove Bartlett yarn! The blue is much more subdued than the picture shows - it looks rather "electric" in the picture. I haven't decided what to make with them yet; they'd each make a very nice pair of gloves, but the colors go together so well (much better than the picture shows), that I'd like to find something that I could make with all 3 skeins. Maybe I'll design some nice fairisle mittens...

Thanks again to a great Secret Pal!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Starting to get ready for winter!

Here's the beginning

There are 6 pints in the pressure cooker now (one's a "light" pint - not enough for a meal, but plenty for vegetable soup), 14 pints in the basement, and they're still coming on in the garden. I also have 10 quarts of tomatoes - and Mom and Dad have been canning a lot more of my tomatoes than I have. We'll definitely be set for chili and soup this winter. Not too bad, actually, considering that our garden's only 10'x15'. We had put chicken wire around it to keep out the groundhogs, and I thought it looked like an ideal spot for pole beans. :-) We've been eating grilled zucchini and stuffed peppers all summer, too. In the next week or two I'm going to start canning all of the older meat in the freezer. Tomorrow night I'm going to can the 3-4 pints of leftover spaghetti sauce from tonight's dinner (we had a bunch of teenagers over at dinnertime, and - as usual - we made too much!), and I may hit the Red Wagon farm market this weekend and see if anything strikes my fancy.

I think I'm going to need more jars!

On the knitting front...the scarf is sent off to KnitPicks, and I worked on the Mystery Shawl again today. I finished a couple of swatches in Icelandic Lopi-style from Morningstar Fibers; 2 more to hands hurt when I have to knit those very long, because I'm trying to achieve a dense fabric. So - I cast on one of my fingerless glove/mittens in Hauk, and I finished most of the ribbing for one of them. Kelson's going to need something warm and waterproof for marching band practice pretty soon, but he still needs to have his fingers free. We'll see how waterproof Hauk really is!

Now I'm going to sit down and watch the Indians game while I knit, the sound of the pressure cooker in the background...

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


I had to turn on the word verification. I've been getting spammed left and right.

And another one....

This is my latest project for the KnitPicks catalog. This is knit in their new Decadence yarn - 100% superfine alpaca. It's sooooooo soft! This is 70" of cartridge belt rib - Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. But - they told me that it's *definitely* going to be in the next catalog (due out in mid-October) so keep an eye out for it!

And, just because it's so cute...

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Secret Pal!!!

When I got up this morning, I received a surprise in my inbox !! My Secret Pal got me a $20 online gift certificate to Knit Pixie!!!

What a great gift!! I've been drooling over their yarn selection for a while - now I'll actually get to try them!!


I'll post pictures when I actually figure out what I'm going to order...

Thanks to a great SP!!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Talent abounds!

I haven't had time to post these pictures from last weekend's trip to The Yankee Peddler. If you ever get the chance to go, I highly recommend it - it's a yearly trip for our family.

If you do manage to make your way to the Peddler, please stop, in The Glen, at booth 257

This is Chickadee Hill Wild Bird Carvings. Bob and Terry Hansen run this booth, and the talent is just astounding. Bob was one of Kevin's teachers in the late 1970's, and they've been good friends of the family forever.

Bob does beautiful work with wood.

Here are just a few examples of his work

(the one on the left isn't available anymore - it's hanging in my living room )

These hanging birds are beautiful - we use them as ornaments on our Christmas tree

The fish decoys are really pretty also - we have two that we use as fan pulls. :-)

Every year, each artisan has to make an item especially for the Yankee Peddler. This is what Bob carved for 2005. Believe me, the picture does NOT do it justice!

And this is Bob (I never managed to get a picture of Terry - just the back of her head!)

Bob and Terry can be reached at Bobterh at (please insert the @ symbol where appropriate - I'd hate for them to get spammed!)

Friday, September 16, 2005

Sometimes I just love Bill Maher!

from Real Time with Bill Maher, September 2nd...

MAHER: The only thing the Iraqi leadership has in common with our founding fathers is that neither of them used deodorant. Now, the sight of Iraqis having a constitutional convention has put a lump in the throat of Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney, all of whom have compared the American patriots of 1776 to our soldiers in Iraq today, mostly because they're using the same equipment. Let's just mention a few ways this analogy breaks down.

One: the American Revolution was a home-grown rebellion fought with guerilla tactics against an occupying army of foreigners and mercenaries. Okay, that is exactly what's going on in Iraq. Oh, except for one thing: This time, WE'RE ENGLAND!

he never did get around to points two or three...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Another survey!

Swiped from Amie. I left off a few questions about who will and won't respond...

1. What is your occupation? I’m the in-school suspension teacher at a high school with 2650 students. I’m actually an English teacher, but I was cut in the budget cuts a few years ago… I used to teach at Revere High School - the alma mater of Jeffrey Dahmer!
2. What color is your underwear? What underwear? (I’m KIDDING! Don't go telling my mom!!) Generic white
3. What are you listening to right now? The whining of students because it’s almost time for bathroom break..
4. What was the last thing you ate? A Rice Krispie Treat from the emergency junk food stash in my desk drawer
5. Do you wish on stars? Most definitely! I need all the help I can get!
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Cerulean
7. How is the weather right now? I work in a concrete block room with no windows. Weatherbug says it’s 72 and partly sunny, though..
8. Last person you spoke to on the phone? One of the assistant principals.
9. Do you like the person who sent this to you? I swiped it from Amie – I like her just fine!
10. How old are you today? 39.
11. Favorite drink? Black Coffee or Sweet Tea, depending on the time of day. I don’t drink alcohol.
12. Favorite sport to watch? Baseball! Cleveland Indians!!!
13. Have you ever dyed your hair? A long time ago, but not for several years. There’s really no point!
14. Do you wear contacts or glasses? Yes. If I’m tired, I wear glasses, other times I wear contacts
15. Pets? The menagerie: Tick, a miniature dachsund; Gracie, an 8 month old airedale; the cats Moe, Repo, Rambo and Sparky; Prometheus the ball python; and Aranya the tarantula.
16. Favorite month? June, July and August (see #1)
17. Favorite food? I will eat anything that I’ve ever tried except nacho cheese Doritos, but my favorite is probably a good steak, extra rare
18. Favorite day of the year? Snow (also see #1)
19. What do you do to vent anger? I deal with angry students at school and regularly angry people at home, so I try not to vent anger the way that it’s vented at me. I usually just go sit someplace quiet and knit.
20. What was your favorite toy as a child? The Dipsy Doodle was my favorite outside toy, and TinkerToys were my favorite inside toy
21. Fall or Spring? Fall, definitely. Too much slush in the spring
22. Cherry or Blueberry? Blueberry!
23. When was the last time you cried? It seems like every day since school started
24. What is on the floor of your closet? Shoes, a bag of curtains, my fire box, a sewing machine, and a colony of dust bunnies. I don’t want to disturb their civilization
25. Who is the friend you have had the longest?
Female – Wendy
Male - Dan. I actually talk to Dan more often, albeit online...
26. What did you do last night?
Had my MIL over for dinner, then watched the Indians game
27. Favorite smell? A house heated with wood – it takes me back to my grandparents’ house in Michigan
28. What inspires you? Somebody telling me that I can’t
29. What are you afraid of? Something happening to my children, and losing my mental capacity.
30. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? Cheese
31. Favorite dog? It’s a tie between the 2 I have now. Tick is a mellow little dog, and Gracie is a spaz
32. Number of keys on your key ring? 7 keys, 6 keyrings, and 12 store cards
33. How many years at your current job? 2-1/2. It only seems like 15
34. Favorite day of the week? Saturday - for obvious reasons
35. How many states have you lived in? 1
36. How many cities have you lived in? 4, and that includes living in Akron when I was in college. I never go very far from home…

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Secret Pal 6 Survey

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)?
I loooove wool, alpaca, silk, wool, cotton, and wool. Any natural fibers, actually. I’m trying, little by little, to purge my life of acrylics. I guess that qualifies me as a yarn snob.
2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I spin quite a bit on my Kromski Minstrel. Right now I’m spinning buffalo, but I’m right in the middle of a "silk phase." I can crochet – I’ve made quite a few doilies in my time, but I don’t enjoy it as much as knitting.
3. Do you have any allergies?
None whatsoever!
4. How long have you been knitting?
34 of my nearly 40 years! My grandma taught me when I was 6, and my 5th grade teacher helped me along.
5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
6. Do you have a favorite scent?
I make my own candles, soap and lotion – my favorites change almost weekly.
7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
Ummm…yes. Dark chocolate is my weakness.
8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I’m a soapmaker, I quilt and cross-stitch, and I know there are other things out there that I like to do – I just haven’t discovered them yet!
9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like almost any music that is pre-1980.
10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
My favorite color is maroon, but I love any color in the blue/purple/red category. No gold, orange or greens, though – they make me look ill when I wear them.
11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I have 2 boys, ages 13 and 10 (and 43, if you count my husband). I also have a mini dachsund, an airedale puppy, 4 cats, a baby snake and my oldest son has a tarantula.
12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
To make my living in a fiber-related capacity. It’s not going to happen, I know, but a girl can dream!
13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
I have so many favorites!! Anything from Brown Sheep, Bartlett, Jamieson & Smith, Briggs & Little, Dale of Norway, Philosopher’s Wool…
14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
No fun fur or novelty crapola. I won’t knit with something that looks like somebody ritually sacrificed a Muppet. 15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
Cabled Cardigans in the round and lace shawls
16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Lace shawls, anything with colorwork or cables
17. What are you knitting right now?
A lace mystery shawl, Birch, socks, a sweater I’m designing, a Fair Isle cardigan and a scarf for the KnitPicks catalog. And - I just cast on Inishmore
18. What do you think about ponchos?
No. Un-uh. I was old enough to wear them the first time, so I’m automatically disqualified from having to deal with them this time around!
19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
Circulars. I own straights, but I use them as bobbin holders when I’m wrapping plied yarn onto my niddy-noddy.
20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
It depends on the fiber. I really like anything that Inox makes, though.
21. Are you a sock knitter?
22. How did you learn to knit?
See #4
23. How old is your oldest UFO?
About 5 years – I started making a cardigan for my MIL, and then she gained weight and it wouldn’t fit her anymore even if I finished it.
24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
SpongeBob is awesome!! I also love anything with Airedales and Dachsunds on it.
25. What is your favorite holiday?
I like all holidays – I love when family gets together, but Christmas is probably my favorite
26. Is there anything that you collect?
Pre 1960s cookbooks and old knitting books. I'm also trying to collect all of the Wool Gatherings
27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Cast On, Vogue Knitting, InKnitters
28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?
The 2nd Barbara Walker treasury,
29. Any patterns you have been coveting, but haven't bought for one reason or another??
Any of the Fiber Trends lace shawl patterns.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Back to our regularly scheduled knitting

On Saturday, I had 2 packages delivered to my house. One was from The Knitting Garden, and the other was the start of my Rowan subscription.

This is what I found when I opened the packages:

2 Rowan magazines, and 5 - count them 5! balls of Rowan KidSilk Haze. The magazine on the right is the new issue, and it came with a butt-ugly scarf project and the 2 balls to the right. The magazine on the left came with the other 3 balls.

Any guess what I'm going to make?

The really, really cool thing? The dye lots, from two different places, are only one number apart! I have 3 balls in dye lot 643, and 2 in dyelot 644. I can't tell them apart, and I can usually pick out two different dyelots from 50 paces.

This is the butt-ugly scarf project

Blech. It uses two balls, but not in my lifetime. I'm going to use those same two balls to make River instead

There, now isn't that a much nicer use of sheer knitting divinity?

Have you guessed what I'm going to make with Rowan 34 and 3 balls of Dewberry Kidsilk Haze? Check here and here and here. I've halfway through the second repeat; I'll post pictures when it actually looks like something.

Friday, September 02, 2005

You need to click the button

See that red button on the right?

You need to click on the button.

If you ate 3 square meals today,
If you have a roof over your head,
If you know where your family is, and you know that they are safe,
If you have safe water to drink,
If you have the medicine that you need,
If you have the ability to complain about the high price of gas because you still have a car,
If you were able to go to the grocery store/yarn shop/coffee shop,
If nobody has shot at you today,

Then you should count every blessing that has been bestowed upon you and click the button.

If you need an incentive to help, visit this site. These two knitters are doing great things.

If you give up one lunch at work, one skein of yarn, or one trip to Starbucks, you can help make a difference.

There but for the grace of God...

Remember that and click the button.