Sunday, December 31, 2006


Never tell your resolution beforehand, or it's twice as onerous a duty.
~John Selden

Well I am going to tell my fiber resolution in the hopes it keeps me on the straight and narrow. So here it is…I am not going to buy any yarn, roving, or fleece except at MD S&W and Rhinebeck and the purchases at those places for the above mentioned have to be less than $50. I am going to spin my own fleece and those that I bought or were given to me and learn to dye them to get the results I want.

And I have been reading up on what brings good luck in the new year. Black eyed pea’s, ham, nothing leaving your house on New Year’s Day etc. etc. So what do we have planned for New Year’s Day…we plan to bring things into our house which supposedly will continue throughout the year.

The parents of friends of ours were hit with the flooding that happened in June. The basement was flooded and the moisture ruined the oak parquet floors on the main floor. The furnace, hot water heater etc were lost. They decided to buy a modular and have it placed further back from the river. So the old house has sat and our friends are going to burn it down after their parent’s go down to Florida in January. They asked if we were interested in windows or doors to use in our new house. We went to check and most of the windows and all the interior doors will work. We will have to reframe alittle to be able to use the windows but the savings will be huge. They told us we could take whatever and whatever seems to include the cedar closet and a cedar chest. The chest was laminated and due to the dampness the laminate is peeling off. I want to strip it all off and just sand and poly the surface. There is also a stainless steel sink and counter top which we are going to get to put in the canning kitchen in the basement. Although I appreciate the savings, it was kind of sad knowing that they lost their house. But they said to not look at it like that, but to look at it as if the things we take were getting a new beginning.

To motivate me in the new year, I have joined the Holiday Headstart KAL in hopes that I will be motivated to do make more gifts and try new things. Something’s I am making just to try a new technique with no recipient in mind but others I know who they will end up with. I have been busy knitting since Christmas. I have done two hats, a pair of crocheted towel tops and baby booties….a headstart on the Headstart? Possibly!!

I wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year. And now I am off to do laundry, clean house and pay bills so that there will be no debt and a clean house in the new year….HAHAHAHAHA Boy am I an optimist!!!!

P.S. Blogger is being a PITA so I can't post pics...again.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Tangible and Intangible Gifts

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree:
the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis

This Christmas was full to bursting with tangible and intangible gifts.

Lets start with the intangibles, the real things that make Christmas worthwhile…1) My daughter was home with us. It just wasn’t Christmas without her last year while she was in Iraq. No matter how old she get’s she will still be my baby girl or #1 daughter as she likes to be called. 2) My mother has always worked on Christmas morning and arrives home about 11, in time to make the meal. This year she had the day off and was able to come to my house and for the first time watch the kids open their presents. Then we went to her house (across the yard) to start dinner and exchanged gifts there. 3) My sister sat on the phone in Puerto Rico listening to it all and commenting so it was close to having her here. Next year if she doesn’t come we will need to hook up a webcam so she can also see it all. 4) My brother and his family were able to have Christmas dinner with us which made for a full but happy house. My daughter requested roast duck with raspberry sauce along with the traditional ham. I have to admit it was great and will probably become a new tradition! It was a fantastic day.

When the paper and boxes settled everyone was happy. I was overwhelmed, flabbergasted, thunderstruck and astounded! My daughter spoiled me something awful. She bought me slippers, a dutch oven, The Knitting Answer Book, decorations for the new kitchen, and she made me a sheep ornament with a star that says “ I love ewe” and she bought me a WooleeWinder!!!!! My mom continued to spoil me as she got me an awesome crockpot big enough to feed them all and the Denise Interchangeable Knitting needle set. My son got me Morehouse Farm Merino Knits from which I am making the booties right now. The younger ones made me ornaments for the tree as reminders of this Christmas. My sister made me the coolest thing. It is a framed bulletin board but instead of cork showing she covered it with one of my grandmothers flour sacks! So I have some of the past brought into the future. I love it! She also got me a coloring book with Spanish and English words so when we go back to Puerto Rico in 2008 I will know how to speak some. She also added little comments on pages which were hysterical. In my defense I did know the important words…gracias (thanks) de nada (welcome) and bano (bathroom)!
There were so many other goodies that I was completely floored. The day was chaotic yet calm, exhausting yet invigorating in that weird way that only happens during the holidays! The kids played with their gifts while mom and I cooked, we ate and then we got the last gift of the day….as we were cleaning up from dinner we got a little snow!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

My Christmas Wish

My Christmas Wish
If I could have a Christmas wish,
Yes, if such things could be.
There are some things that I'd wish for,
That are just for you, from me.

I know I'd wish when you wake up,
The Christmas day to start...
You'd find yourself smiling,
From the peace within your heart.

And I would wish your mind at peace
As you think about next year.
And freedom from all worries,
And freedom from all fear.

And I would wish you joyfulness,
And strength to reach your goal.
And deep, abiding peacefulness,
And wellness in your soul.

I know I may not get my wish,
But if I could, it's true...
A deep, abiding, heart-felt peace
Is my Christmas wish for you!

I found that poem on the internet and figured that whoever wrote it said it better than I ever could. May your Christmas be wonderful and may you find time at the end of the day to just sit and watch the lights blink on the tree and reflect on the day of joy, new memories and traditions that you made.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Winter Solstice

Yule, is when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. Known as Solstice Night, or the longest night of the year, much celebration was to be had as the ancestors awaited the rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed the frozen Earth and made her to bear forth from seeds protected through the fall and winter in her womb. Bonfires were lit in the fields, and crops and trees were "wassailed" with toasts of spiced cider.- Yule Lore

Today is the Winter Solstice and the younger daughter and I have done our annual tradition. Years ago the show Little Bear had a segment where Little Bear and his family hung food out for the birds for the Solstice. Each year since we have rolled pinecones in peanut butter

and bird seed and hung them out for the birds and whatever else cares to nibble on them.
Up to this point we have only had a dusting of snow. Now that winter is officially here maybe we will get some of the white stuff….not as much as Colorado though! I guess the only white I am going to be seeing for Christmas is the white yarn I just finished spinning. I spun three singles and plied them together and got 350 yards of 10 wpi cushy cormo. This is the cormo that my cousin picked up for me at the MD S&W and I love it. I am going to dye some and make another hat.

Tomorrow I have to pick up last minute little things and then I am done shopping/running around until at least the end of next week. Luckily my family is all close so we don't have to travel and this year it will be great to have eldest daughter with us as we all missed her last year while she was in Iraq. And I finally seem to have gotten the Christmas spirit now that I know everything is done and now I can relax and have an enjoyable weekend. Hope you all do too.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Satisfying Weekend

Laziness may appear attractive,
but work gives satisfaction.--Anne Frank

I feel very satisfied after this weekend. I was able to finish the stocking and the crocheted tops to the dishtowels.

We got our tree and mom’s tree up, the ducks pen cleaned, the greenhouse fixed, the roof finished and all the decorations up.

I am not happy with the stocking but it is done and it is only for a cat so….I do not like the intarsia and will go back to the fair isle after Christmas.

Tonight we go to the mall where the little man is singing with his choir, tomorrow night is Boy Scouts and then we are going to all synchronize our watches and decorate the tree together.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I am the navigator.

Time flies. It is up to you to be the navigator. ~ Robert Orbin

I have not been a good navigator recently. Instead of finishing the two projects that I had planned, I actually added two more! All of these projects are fairly easy and would go fast if the time allowed, but time has been stretched to the limit with the season. The kids have parties for Boy/Girl Scouts and each of their classes has parties next week. Wednesday night was my son’s concert and this coming Monday he will sing in the mall with his choir. Yesterday the Ladies Aux. at the firehouse baked cookies all day to send to soldier’s in Iraq and today we have to package them all.

But back to fiber content. I had to make a pair of mittens and a pair of fingerless gloves. I added a stocking and crocheted tops to dish towels. My oldest daughter wants the last two but the stocking isn’t for her, it is for her cat. The cat’s name is Cleocatra and it is my “grandkitten” or so she keeps telling me.
So I was going to do the stocking using the stranded method I am learning…and so I found a picture of a kitten here, enlarged it and printed it out. I put a graph paper in front of it and got it as close to it as I could. I go threw the yarn I have and I don’t have the colors I need and I do NOT want to go to the store so I decide to make it from homespun. Now I will use my homespun on shawls and for hats and mittens but usually nothing with details because my homespun is not the most consistent or blob free. But I have lots of natural color spun and decide I will dye some red and green. Then I decide the fur on the hat and kitten have to have some angora in it. So I just happen to have white and gray and I spin up some singles of them and ply it with the yarn I am going to use. Then being me I just start knitting obliviously…. and then I realize I would have to carry three colors at one time while working the chart. Being fairly new to knitting I go and research and realize this is not “fair isle” but “intarsia”. So I read on how to do it and find it can’t be done in the round which is how I am knitting the stocking. So I forge on and knitted it flat during the chart and then went back to knitting in the round and will sew the seam when I am done. I am working on the gusset now. I liked knitting the hat in the two colors but I can’t say that I liked the intarsia. I like the possibilities of it but the bobbins were a pain.

So now I am going to navigate back to knitting and hopefully will post pictures when I am done which if I navigate carefully should be tonight!

Monday, December 11, 2006

A full weekend

Friday was shopping for food and presents and a side trip to the feed store.

Saturday I went to the LYS to get circulars to do the Andean Headband. They had a #5 circ but no #3. Then I went and cleaned house for a friend who is in the hospital but expecting company for Chanukah. Afterwards we went to the tree farm to pick out two tree's. We pulled in and saw this sign

who could shop for a tree from the comfort of a vehicle anyhow. You have to get cold and have snowball fights and size the tree up. And who would have thought you could find THE perfect tree …twice!! But we did. Thankfully it wasn’t so cold and it was a great day for tree picking. Then we took the younger daughter shopping so she could buy her gifts and we ate dinner out.

Sunday the younger daughter had two girl friends over. I took the laundry to mom's and was able to get it all done and in between loads get some knitting in. Then the girl’s mom came over and they all stayed for dinner.

So what did I knit…my own version of the Andean. I wrote down the directions for the Andean but not the chart. I didn’t think I would actually have the time to get that far along but I did. Well I knew the chart was fairly close to the chart from the Triple Patterned Watch Cap so I used that chart as I had it with me. I didn’t have the #3’s that it called for so I just stayed with the #5 and I am so glad I did because it just fits me. I don’t like the K2 P2 done in the #5. I am going to make another but use the twined herringbone edge and the duff chart from the Watch Cap.

I need to do a pair of mittens and a pair of fingerless mitts for Christmas so I need to put the stranded knitting on hold until they are done.
And instead of doing my work I am sitting here watching a flock of starlings devour the suet cake. The little downy woodpecker doesn't like them! They started coming on Friday I guess the cold weather brought them in. Hopefully the weather will be warming up a little this week.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Hat is Done

It is Friday and it is only 10 degrees right now. The kids have a two hour delay because of a snow squall that went thru last night. It is COLD and windy and COLD! To bad I didn’t make the hat to fit me as I could use it right now.

I did finish the hat last night and I will do another. So what else did I learn from doing this….

1. I don’t like that the body pattern is hidden behind the cuff so I will either not turn it or I will just knit plain behind the cuff on the next one.

2. I got the throwing knitting down pretty good and was able to get pretty fast knitting that way. I hold the yarn coming up in between my index and middle finger and going over the last three and back down between my hand and the project. When I need to use the color in the right hand I let go of the needle and just move my hand forward and back to pick up the needle. It is odd but it works for me.

3. I did two repeats of the body chart and then turned the cuff up. In the pictures there should be some of the body pattern showing and in mine there wasn’t so I did rows 1 & 2 again. AFTER I got done with it and didn’t like the way it came out I tried figuring it out…I was actually knitting to gauge even though I don’t swatch and the pattern said knit the body chart for 3 ½ inches. If 6 ¾ rows =1 inch than 23.625 rows would be 3 ½ inches and I did 22 rows and it messed with the pattern. This could also be because I didn’t do the one row of MC that they said to do between the body and crown chart so…

4. Read and re-read the pattern while knitting. :^D I have a slight tendency to just march forward.

All in all it was fun and kept me going because I wanted to see the pattern. I learned how to knit with two hands and how to work in the floats. I think I am going to make a bunch of the Andean-Style Headbands from Interweave. The pattern is basically the same as the cuff on the Triple Patterned Watch Cap. It only calls for 53 yards of one color and 25 yards of another so I can get rid of a lot of leftovers from other projects.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Knit Ferrari

You need to go check out this link.... She knit a ferrari! I just caught the end of it on the news so I had to google it and find out the whole thing!

Also, the experts have finally agreed we had a tornado hit our town which is why we had no electricity from Friday to Sunday evening. Do you think the trees down in different directions all over the place was a clue?

The hat is moving right along and should be done in about 10-15 minutes of knitting. I post pictures tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


We are built to conquer environment, solve problems, achieve goals, and we find no real satisfaction or happiness in life without obstacles to conquer and goals to achieve. ~ Maxwell Maltz

Earlier this year I wanted to start The Triple-Patterned Watch Cap. I saw the one’s Grace made and they were beautiful. So I started but somewhere in the cuff chart I switched the two colors, got annoyed and gave up.
So yesterday while browsing the internet I found Stranded - The Color Work Challenge at . So I joined hoping this would motivate me and it did.
After the kids went to bed I found some black and green Paton’s Merino and started to knit. I did the Twined Herringbone edge and a couple of rows of the cuff. Then this morning after the kids went to school I sat down and started to do more and realized I had made a mistake on the row below what I was working on…I tried just ripping out just that but it didn’t work and had to rip almost two rows back. Now I am on row 9 of the cuff and found that like the Wee Aran Knit that I want to finish just this part or maybe just one more row, or one more row! The charts are still confusing me because the black squares are my green and the white squares are my black so I photocopied the page and used markers in the colors I am using to show me what I am suppose to be doing.

Started Posted by Picasa

Not Bad

I thought I was doing pretty good with the floats in the back…
Not Bad Posted by Picasa

Until I saw this….

Bad floats Posted by Picasa
It seems I don’t pay attention to floats at the start of the rows! And that is not all I have learned already! While talking to Cyndy I realized I start patterns without reading. If I read them I wouldn’t start most of them. Then when I get to a problem area I have to continue because I have so much time invested! Oh I guess most important I am learning to knit the English/throw/American way. My own version of it but I am getting it done.
So anyhow I started knitting the small version of this hat and boy it is small so I guess I will give it to my daughters friend who has a two year old.

The Full Cold Moon Posted by Picasa

Last night was the Full Cold Moon and it felt like it. It went down to 19 and today they don’t expect it to go above freezing so it is a perfect time to snuggle down and knit!!!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

We've Got the Power

Yes we finally got power. Due to a storm on Friday, we were without power from 5:30 Friday evening until about 4:00 this evening. It is so good to have power back. We were lucky and had a small generator to power the freezers and some lights. The kerosene heater kept us warm and we have a gas stove without electronic ignition for cooking.

The man got toned out with the fire department as soon as the storm started to hit. There were automatic fire alarms going off because of the power blinking on and off and they had to check and make sure they weren’t real fires. They had to close roads due to power lines or tree’s being down and contact the power company/dept of transportation. He didn’t get home until about 10. The kids went to their dads and I sat with one oil lamp and spun in total silence. It was actually heaven!

Approximately an hour after the storm hit the skies were completely cleared and the moon was out. The next morning was beautiful.

The fire department is also an emergency shelter so they have a generator. The craft fair that they had planned for Saturday went off without a hitch. The local VFW usually holds a prize bingo in the evening on the first Saturday in December but they didn’t have a generator. The prizes and equipment were moved to the firehall as soon as the craft fair was over and they held it there. The VFW did pretty good because with no electricity people just came to get warm and to have something to do.

So what did I learn from my weekend without electricity….That our community who bickers like family most times can actually pull together like family…..that the generator was an awesome buy as it saved three freezers of food so has already paid for itself…that I should buy a bigger generator when money allows so it will power the well and hot water heater too….that I don’t mind not having cable or lights but I need running/hot water…and lastly I learned that I spun the most consistent yarn I have ever spun when I spun Friday night in near darkness….I am going to have to put blinders on to spin from now on!