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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is my favorite "holiday" and I just had to wish you all a good one. If you're going out, stay safe, if you're staying in, have a good time.
Me and Angeline Jolie are going out... Don't take this too personally, I actually like Angelina Jolie, or I should say have nothing against her and enjoy her acting and admire her charitable work, this was more an inside joke for a friend and her husband.
And too bad I won't be in, my pumpkin lanterns will be of waste.

Which is a shame. Have I mentioned I love Halloween? We unfortunately have no trick or treater's to speak of so I'm going to a friends party where they have TON's of the little ghouls and goblins.

And as for the bright lanterns, we have too much wind here for traditional candles to work so I use some little LED lamps.

Have fun tonight...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Touch of Class to the Fall

I finally got Celaeno done! Woohoo! The last time I spoke of this little number I stated that the last row I had done had taken a couple hours and I had watched the entirety of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in the time it took me to bead and knit each bloody three hundred and some odd stitches. Well, that pales in comparison to the final row that you bead, knit and then cast off each stitch. Five hours. No, really; five, but she was worth it.
Don't you agree? It almost makes me wish I could pull off wearing her...
Hopefully she does a good job pulling in the bidding dollars for the Montessori School fund raiser. That's where she was destined to end up from the time I saw the pattern for her. 

Anyway, as you might be able to tell from that top picture, it's a blustery fall day (Winnie the pooh, I love you) here in Casper. The perfect day to sit and do some spinning.
And speaking of lovely things, this has been a joy to spin. Not pre-draft mind you, but the spinning part has been wonderful.
This is again from Huckleberry Knits though not part of my fiber club. This was form a long slow night that I ended up playing with my credit card online. Always a dangerous proposition but can rarely go wrong when one is playing with fiber dying prodigy's fibers. At least that's my opinion thus far.
I think the name of this wool and silk blend is perfect. The blend of yellows, browns, russets and purples reminds me exactly of indian corn.
Yesterday I also finished my last fiber club installment of cranberry autumn which is fitting for today. It makes me a bit homesick though because just looking at it makes me think of walking the trails back home smelling the pungent aroma of frosted cranberries. I think maybe next year I need to go home for the fall, not Christmas or my birthday, but the fall where I can hike above the tree line and wander through birch and alder stands smelling those longed for scents.

Well, I guess I should stop wasting time and get to cleaning house for the gathering tomorrow evening for homemade pizza and pumpkin carving. Can't wait! I may not be able to do anything about the longing for the natural smells of home, but I surely can alter the smell of my house with freshly opened pumpkin and roasted seeds.

May you all have a lovely Sunday and great week ahead. If you don't hear from me before, have a wonderful All Hallows Eve!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Off To Bed. Shortly That Is.

Whew, my work week is done, and as is only fitting, it ended with a bang of a night. But now, I sit at home finishing up my handspun yarn knit cap and get to have an entire week off. So, before I quickly fill my time up, I thought I'd throw together a post.

Here in Casper we are a bit chilly. Our first snow was brought to us by a cold front that has hung around a couple days dropping our temperatures below freezing and dusting us with our first snow that amazingly stuck. Unfortunately it also gave us a sheeting of ice on our roads last night that made my evening's work a bit tricky. One accident alone resulted in 4 patients from a single car roll over. After sticking around just long enough to slow us down though, as usual in the high desert country in Wyoming we'll be bouncing back up to the fifties and seeing our snow either melt or get blown to Nebraska this weekend.

In an effort to keep warm, I broke out my hand spun yarn (some of my best thus far) from my fiber club and dove into making myself a hat that comes down over my ears. IT's a color that I'm not sure works for me, but I do like the finished product!

And while we're on the topic of knitting, I got Celaeno done!

For a while there I was worried I wouldn't get this little shawlette done. The beading about killed me. In fact the last row took hours and the only good thing I can say about it was that even though I was beading every other stitch, I was also working a cast off with it so I was done at the end of it (4 hours guys, it took me 4 bleeding hours!).

I promise I'll get some more pictures up when she's done blocking and dry. I hope to have an opportunity for photos at Blooming Needles grand opening tomorrow. We'll see, I'll keep the fingers crossed. The last finished shawlette I took to the shop to other knitters tried to steal.

Now, I think I better go do something with the kids before I fall asleep since I've been up since 2 yesterday afternoon. Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I've been getting homesick reading my friend Betsy's blog and am so excited that this morning there is a fine if not fully frozen snow drifting down from the sky. So much so that I ran to the store on the way home and got turkey and egg noodle soup makings and got the crock pot warming before heading to bed. See, I'm so excited about this that I'm blogging instead of sleeping!

Some people...

This is what I've been working on.
I hope to have it done soon and better pictures of it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Have you ever worked on a project that seemed to laugh at you and your every attempt to finish it? You work diligently and yet you never seem to get closer to it's end. When you think you're almost there, you realize there's another chunk you have yet to even start chipping away at? Through all this work, though you may be tired, you find that you're not truly irritated by it, because even when you hate to admit it, you realize you're enjoying the item.

Well, S&MMM was that project for me. She's finally done after I sat up refusing to go to bed the other night until she was done. I finished the last chart and happily pulled out the pattern only to realize that I overlooked that she has a knit on edge. Arrrgggh! So, away I went at 11pm refusing to quit until I had cast off every singe one of those 220 some odd stitches. But when she was done, oh my was she pretty.
Now, let's hope her recipient thinks so too. The person she is going to looks wonderful in deep jewel blues and chocolate browns and I think this little shawl is the perfect thing to class up a pair of dressy jeans. No?

Oh, and here's a shot of the kids on the way home from South Dakota after we hit the Reptile Gardens in Rapid City.

They actually allow dogs on leash inside so I took the four of them in. We sat through a snake presentation and all our snake training paid off. There was no whining, barking or trying to get to the snake, and when they brought out the prairie rattler Tucker tried to crawl in our laps and Sullivan quaked like he was trying to poop out a peach pit. Good dogs, that's what I want when snakes are present. You don't mess with them and give them their room. Shiela of course is deaf as a door nail and didn't know there was a thing to be concerned about.

Last night I went to some friends house for dinner and picked the last of the apples I could reach in the tree to take with me. These are the few I have left. They are so wonderful and crisp. Next year if we're still around I'm going to see about some options to get more of them and make my own alcoholic cider. Doesn't that sound wonderful?

Last night I blew my fingers out finishing up spinning up some silk that I plan on giving as a thank you gift. I never realized how hard that stuff is on the hands. I've sat and spun on other fibers for longer but never had I gotten blisters from it. I'm hoping it's dry enough to give to her tonight and I hope to get better pictures.
The second colorway batch I bought to ply with the blue wasn't near as good a quality of hankies and therefore I couldn't draft it out as finally so there on the left is the single ply blue still. I got about 170 yards of plyed and another 200 yards of the unplyed. Not much I can do about it and it's still wonderful. Now I can say I know how to spin silk.

Anyway, I have to get ready for work. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Monday, October 15, 2012

A Post Road, Pre Spinning Quickie

I know I had hinted at the fact that our travels weren't quite done before. Well, we got home yesterday and I got my friend Stefani off to the airport this morning, all showered, shaved and ready to head out to meet with some spinning friends (wool, not stationary bikes) and thought I'd kill a few minutes with a quick post. Don't worry, I'll give you more soon.

We hit the Black Hills and played in Rushmore Cave, I saw Rushmore for the first time, went to the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, and wasted $40.00 in the slots in Deadwood. I had taken $50.00 for the job but decided I would just pocketed the other ten and call it a bonus for not falling pray to gambling fever (not that it was a great worry, I work hard for my money and don't see why I should squander it in gambling).

I wasn't near as good this time about taking my camera out with me on this trip, but here's a couple.
For this trip I only had a total of 95 pictures which still need to be gone through and cleaned through of what isn't good enough to keep. After such efforts the trip south ended up with 571.

Well, more to come but I have to get moving.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jog

I've been trying to get to a post all day with little success until now. I thought it was pointless to post without pictures of what has kept me so busy, which of course that means I had to go through the few hundred pictures and glean the best for you all. Spoiled, aren't you? And since we've been gone for over a week playing with pictures took a back seat to cleaning the house, unpacking all our crap, spending time with the poor neglected beasts who had to stay home with a sitter, and just try to tidy up in general in a desperate effort to have the house presentable for our company that arrives tomorrow night. So, here it is in the evening and I finally get to tell you all about our trip. Or should I say, the first half? Luckily this posting will be mostly pics, and you won't have to listen to me drone on and on.
First we headed south and played in Great Sand Dunes National Monument.
Then we headed west towards Durango CO.

Early the next morning we jumped over to Mesa Verde National Park,
Before booking it further South Water Canyon to camp for our first night in New Mexico.
The next morning we had a buddy in camp.

After saying goodbye to our little pal (the first mantis I've seen in person ever! I like bugs as long as they're not on me), we headed West again to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.

After that we camped again in the wonderful mild autumn weather, well, maybe native New Mexicans wouldn't call the low forties mild camping weather but a kid from Alaska enjoyed anything over freezing, we headed towards warmer weather back east at White Sands National Monument.

We cleaned up that night in a hotel in Almagordo before hitting the early morning pavement to make to Carlsbad Caverns. Carlsbad has been one of those places I've always wanted to see and have finally made it. I would suggest to anyone to go, and take your time to wonder through, though I would suggest you enter by the natural route (an extra mile of walking) and leave by the elevator. The main cavern is 750feet down.
Roswell's Town Hall Building is Beautiful!
After we left the subteranean wonderland we just had to drive through Roswell on our way to Sumnter Lake State Park to camp. There unfortunately our trip got cold. That night we were rained on as a cold front moved through. Add that to the motorcyclists that just had to come in after dark and camp right next to us in an otherwise empty campground, equaled a lovely night. Our only lucky strike there is that we heard them discussing that they forgot to hit a liqour store and only had a little weed left so they mellowed out instead of getting rowdy. We were packed up and out of there the next morning before we saw or heard anyone. I do have to say, I was a little louder than I would otherwise had been at 6am since they were so loud (One of the Aussies thought he was a soloist from Jesus Christ Superstar) when they came in and set up.
Due to our cold early start we got into Taos early on Saturday and hit the Wool and Fiber Festival before lunch instead of Sunday as planned. Judging by the way the wool was moving I was glad we did. We won't even discuss the my expenditures, I don't account to you...

I spent a good chunk of it here. She had the most lovely BFL and Silk Roving.
Then we wondered Taos, a bit. It's quite the little artist commune of a town. Not that I could afford it but some day as I age I may really enjoy living there. It had a lot of little charms to it, such as this friendly little reminder to Breath In, Breath Out, and Move On done in the Yarn Bombing style.

The next morning we woke to head north and in the chill mountain air. Capulin Volcano National Monument was closed due to snow and Ice on the rim road, so we continued north to Pueblo Colorado.

Since we got there early we hung out with some rather odd fellows for a bit at the zoo and the raptor center. Then we wondered around the deserted old town district (I know it was a Sunday but it looks as though Pueblo has been hit hard by the recession. There were many empty store fronts and restaurants for sale.

The next morning we went out to Royal Gorge to take in the sites, and...


This was truly a highlight of the trip. That is obviously not Bob or I on the line (I wish I had that much hair) but rather one of the 4 newbie to zipping girls that was on our tour. They, as myself and all I've ever seen zipline (I have zipped several other times) quickly got over the nervousness and had tons of fun. I hope to talk Stefani into going back with us next year for the "Extreme" Zipline tour. We went through Royal Gorge Zip Line Tours and would recommend them. Ask for "Chain Saw", he's a hoot, just don't show any weakness...

I actually have a video of it and will work on getting it up on here soon.

It would appear that National Parks Inter-agency Pass really paid off this year. So far we've hit Zion NP, Grand Canyon NP, Bryce Canyon NP, Rocky Mountain NP, Great Sand Dunes NM, Mesa Verde NP, White Sands NM, and Carlsbad NP this year, and will be hitting a couple more here shortly.

Have a great week everybody,

Oh... Almost forgot! While on the road I finally got my Jacob Handspun Shwal done, and started the Romi Hill Merope.
 There are some tension issues in the first one, I think mainly due to me just being sick of it. And aggressive block helped even them out but I can still see the difference.  As for the last one, I'm calling it my S&MMM shawl. It means Sadism and Merope in Mad's Mare. Merope is the pattern name, MAd for Madeline Tosh the brand of yarn and Mare is the colorway. It get's this name because stupidly I only took lace projects with me on this little trip. Talk about self abuse.

Oh, and in Almoagordo I found a cool little winery that sold pistachio wine... It's a rather sweet vanilla flavored wine that I just had to buy for my friend that is visiting this week. As you can see, I bought a few more bottles too and a drop spindle (I heard those gasps from some of you, you know who you are) in Taos as well.

See you on the other side!