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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sometimes you just need a hug

So, I ended up with a day off today that was completely unexpected. With all this time to myself I finally wrapped up that project on the loom. I promise I will post a picture after I get the ends tied up and decided what it is in the end. I have two extra skeins of yarn which at 410 yards apiece is a lot to decide what to do with.

This ones for you Betsy. We got some rain and the shrooms are a'bloom'n.

We also went to a movie. Spoiler alert! For all you adults hoping for another hit like Chicken Run from Shawn the Sheep, don't waste your time or the admission price. Not bad, but really meant for kids, not all ages. It's a long movie with no real spoken dialogue. Oh, and Tiffany, in case you read this, "Gasp, GNOMES!!!" It sill makes me smile, hope it does you too.

As for Midge, she had a stressful walk. She did pretty good as usual until we had some joggers come by. She was not impressed by this form of exercise though she tried to miimic it later in the walk. Don't worry, she's back to her feisty self. She just had a little moment and needed some cuddling. Later when she was trying to climb me, The Guy took her off my shoulder and earned a panicked claw from right nostril to chin. It wasn't out of spite, just a "I NEED TO HOLD ON TO SOMETHING SO IT SHALL BE YOUR FACE!" moment. Really, it was more of a she was reaching into space and his face happened to be there. But doesn't she look cute?!?

Okay everyone, have a great week. And to you school people (Cindy, Dana, Sara) good luck with other peoples kids. I'll catch up with you all later in the week. I promise.


Friday, August 28, 2015

There is no excuse

Here I am saying I'm going to strive to blog more... And then I don't. If it helps, I've been on the computer precious little this last week outside of work. In fact, I went to use the iPad today and it was dead. Battery was sapped and I don't recall the last day I opened it and even knew the charge level.

To be honest, The Guy has once again been out of town this week. Which when combined with a shifted work schedule, threw me and the kids for a loop. Well, except the kitten, I had to work hard to throw her for a loop.

Since we tried moving all her stuff downstairs, she decided to revolt by peeing in odd places. So, once again we have a litter box upstairs and some other steps have been taken to alter her behavior, which I had a feeling was the real issue despite the vet insisting she come in to make sure she didn't have urinary tract infection.

And due The Guys absence and her need of play and time, she has gotten to learn how to go for a walk with her boys this week! She is actually doing surprisingly well with such a plan. She goes just over a mile before she is done, and seems to be a bit more mellow at home, especially when I am trying to sleep. Which is slowly increasing her chances of survival to adulthood.

She didn't wake me up last night pretending I was her private trampoline, but I did wake up the feel of fur in a personal place and realized she had crawled under the covers to cuddle. She was not punished in anyway, but was moved out of the sheets for a cuddle as I am allergic to the wee heathen.

I was getting ready for work and found her and Sullivan goofing off on our bed. Whatever keeps them happy.

The cat is not the only trouble in the house though. Late last night as I was finally getting to bed, I laid down, closed my eyes and took a deep breath. And I smelled it. It didn't smell good. I stopped, sniffed again, then started smelling my hands, my arms, trying to find the offensive smell in the dark. Finally, I got up, turned on the light and there it was... You see, Emmitt is a problem child in wanting to always lay on my pillows. He managed to pull down the covers, floor on them and get chicken shit on my pillow. The pillow my head was laying on. He's no longer allowed on the bed at all until he figures out he is not allowed on the pillows, and I need to find a way to keep the chickens away from the back door where they keep crapping for it to be tracked into the house. Damn hens...

Speaking of hens, we're getting lots of eggs. atlas 2m typically three a day. One day there was an attempt at 4 but the last ones shell wasn't completely formed and I found it broken in the nest box.

And the pears are ripening up and falling from the tree, which are bring in the wasps. And the pies.

I spent a good chunk of today making a couple pies. One for us here and one to go to the yarn shop tomorrow. If they come out as good tasting as they look, I'll share the recipe I kind of winged today. Including a homemade caramel sauce to top them. MMmmmmmhm.

Despite it all, last week I did get some spinning done.  I wrapped up The North Rim, which came out to be about 250 yards of sport/dk weight wonderfulness that I think will become something for me.

Look at those beautiful subtle colors. It's 100% combed Masham top.

And this last week in my down time I dug into this Merino Tencil, the only thing I bought from this years West Michigan Fiber Festival.

I'm still not sure what I think of the finished yarn. It ended up being about 300 yards of sport weight 3 ply. Most fibers seem to get deeper color as you spin and I feel like this one mellowed out. Grrrr, the kitten is trying to play in my lap as I type this, forget all the nice things I said about her earlier.

That's okay, she needs to get some of it out of her system before I try returning to the loom in a bit as I won't let her goof off around that. In fact, she is banned from the fiber room still. Just a precaution. I finally got the remainder of my yarn so I can wrap up this project before I attack the next one.

And I have been occasionally playing with another pair of socks. Always have to have a pair of socks, they make a good travel project for the car, or a plain, or a boat for that matter. I decided to try a hemmed top to give it a nice cushy band at the top. IT WAS A GIANT PAIN IN THE TOOKUS. Just in case you're thinking of doing the same, don't. Not that I don't like the result, but my god it was tedious and painful work on size 1 needles.

Okay, I'm done whining. I'm going to go hack into a pie and do some more weaving. Hope you all have a great weekend as mine is now done!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Short and Oh So Sweet...

Midge has finally figured out the big guy wants to just be buddies...

Now, I need to get back to this.

Have a good night!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Get'n to it while the get'n to it's Hot

I got distracted this evening from making a blog post. So sorry.

See, this arrived.

So of course, I had to do this.

It's just the way of the world. I did come home, walk boys in the heat after work until Sullivan got sick then we headed home and I made dinner to feed The Guy. Panko encrusted pork cutlets using some of our eggs and saluted squash, carrots, and green onions. Yum! Then I sat down with the wheel.

I also wrapped these up the other night.

That doesn't really count for much though as they've been all but cast off and hanging up at the yarn store to advertise for the class I wrote the pattern for.

I wrote this toe up pattern for the class as well. After class happens and any errors are corrected I may provide it. It has a padded heel as well as a traditional gusset. I may tinker with the ankle as it makes me look like I have a touch of cankle happening.

Heres a better light photo to show off their color a bit better. They're knit from SMC's Regia Strata Color collection for those interested in such things.

Yesterday I tore out another pair of socks and restarted them while we were on the rode to Chippewa lake to visit a friends lake house and hang with the kids. They had a great time. Emmitt hasn't forgotten his kayak skills and all the boys even seemed to enjoy the pontoon boat, even the nervous nelly Sullivan. So much so that later he was seen going between the boat and the dock all on his own to look out over the water. Silly animals...

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Let it spin baby, let it spin

Update! I know, I didn't do a good job keeping up with blown this week. But, I kept my hands busy.

To busy to type. Or even really knit of that matter. This was some Alpaca/Merino/Silk from October House that I've been sitting on for months.

It spun up into a rather limp 200+ yard 4 ply. It's supposed to be higher content of wool than it is, but it behaves like it's alpaca and silk content is higher than advertised. It has pretty luster but at this time I don't know what it will become down the road. You can see in the second photo, all those alpaca guard hairs standing up out of it.

Then there was my Bird of paradise 2 ply fractal lace weight. I ended up with almost 700 yards after I gave it a good beating to help toughen it up. There was a certain little furry beast that wouldn't leave me alone while I plyed this and there was a couple mishaps that a bit of felting in the finish work will help solve.

Why did I call it Bird of Paradise? This was one of those projects that just goes to show that I'm not a dyer and don't have that eye for color. Do you see those singles? I would never have put those colors together on my own, but the dyer did. And so did nature. Look at that bottom bobbin.

And look at this Bird of Paradise Blossom. Do you see it? Well, other than a fuzzy picture because my phone focused on the price tags on the flowering stalks in the background instead of the bloom I was framing.

And then there's the one I wrapped up last night. Another one I would have never thought to put these colors together, but they work, and it ended up much darker than I was expecting. It's a 3 ply fractal spun yarn that I'm liking though it's busier than I would usually knit for myself.

So, all the non spinners are thinking, what is this "fractal" thing he keeps talking about? Its a method of breaking up your color. In this photo of my three bobbins you can see it a bit better. See the solid wide stripes on the first bobbin up top? I broke up my roving into three equal parts. The first one I drafted out whole and let the colors run into the single as I came to them which gave me these wide color changes.  The 2nd bobbin in the lower left hand corner is the second 3rd of fiber that I split lengthwise into 4 parts to maintain the color changes, but by breaking it into four narrower pieces, as it drafted it into the second ply of yarn, the color changes were shortened. The third bobbin and last 3rd of my fiber on the bottom right was broken lengthwise down into 16 pieces. Breaking it into such narrow pieces of fiber made the resulting drafted ply's color changes come very quickly indeed so that when they were all plyed together I ended up with the yarn you see in the picture before this one. Why do all this work? Because it's so much fun... Actually, it's a method to try to make sure that your yarn doesn't color pool, or group all the colors together into huge came spots when it's knitted up. This yarn having such contrasting colors in it, I decided I needed to use this technique to make sure it would work for most projects. And because I seem to have a thing for fractal spinning lately. I;ll get over it I'm sure.

Since I'm teaching a drop spindle class at the Clever Ewe this week, I'm sure I'll get over it VERY fast indeed and return to knitting and snapping many a picture of the animals.

Speaking of which. Yep, she's a cat. Already cued in on sunny patches and what great places they are to lounge and nap. I think she's nucking futs as it was hot enough that day to not want to pant in a square of sunshine. You do that shit in January.

Today we're actually getting a break from sun as it's been cloudy most of the day and only in the mid to high 70's but that means the humidity is high just for kicks. We actually have had some rain off and on today too, which is needed. the picture above is some of the wildflowers we're trying to let encroach into the part of the lawn we don't want to keep messing with. However, we've been yanking out the thistle. Thistle and big slobbery silly dogs that want to run through the tall weeds don't mix so well all the time.

And even the word thistle makes me think of "The Thistle & Shamrock" on NPR which made me think of this song in particular. Enjoy..

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Little Sisters

There's no accounting for them.

I snapped this the other day as Emmitt was trying to eat and she decided his ears made great toys. I've moved her downstairs this weekend, fingers crossed it takes and the litter box can remain down there out of the way.