Friday, December 30, 2011

Last post of the year!

Mish-mash of things. I wanted to show you my new favorite veggies, which I made for Christmas Eve dinner - Brussel sprouts, baked in the oven, with bacon bits, and Parmesan on top!

delicious Christmas Eve dinner

Mmmmm! I could eat those as meal, with nothing else. :o)

I've also got my prize, from Carol Feller author of "Contemporary Irish Knits", which I won with your help, and my Dangan shawl.

Hedgehog Fibers

It's two skeins of lovely Merino/Silk Singles from Hedgehog Fibers. And all those cute little things. The sheep made me laugh, so fitting. And although it's not true, I wont knit for coffee, I'd do it for tea.
This is my last pair of socks this year. It's made with Wandering Cat Yarns Alley Cat, colorway Painted Desert. I wanted to knit something mindless, and let the yarn do the talking. Didn't take time to block them, just steamed them. They went right on my feet after that.

Painted Desert socks

pair # 18 are some every day socks for DD Hannah. She picked the yarn from my stash. It's Opal, and I've had it for quite a while. It was no fun knitting with this yarn. I didn't like it, how it looked in the ball, but knit up was O.K. The bad thing was, that it had coarse fiber sticking out throughout. I've never had that with commercial yarn before. It felt so rough. I couldn't get them off my needles fast enough.
Hannah's every day socks finished

My sister sent this bandana for Christmas. I've put it on Denny first, but he was rolling on the floor, to get it off. He hates things around his neck, unless it's the collar, when we go for a walk (and as soon as we are home, he's rolling on the floor ....). Happy was unhappy wearing it too, but was graciously letting me take a picture first, before I took it off.

Happy with his new bandana

There's nothing better than licking snow from a coat hanger. Who knew? Maggie and Denny are of one mind on this one.
snow tastes especially good licked from  a coat hanger

Tulips in December! What a lovely sight. My son brought them home to decorate the Dining room for Christmas Eve dinner. There were white ones too.
tulips in December

A lot of fiber I'm looking forward to spinning in the new year. Those are FatCatKnits 2oz bundles in over 50 semi solid colors.

FCK semi solids on Falkland put away

Oh, and of course for all the Denny lovers out there: He's most comfortable out in the cold, chewing a stick, like it's the coziest thing to do.

Dec. 28-afternoon

He also likes to fish for ice in the bucket, funny to watch, but boy that must be cold!

I also have new snow boots, since the old ones, which I had at least seven years, where totally destroyed by Denny last winter. I love them!
Dec. 28-afternoon


Well, that's it for this year's blogging.
Hopefully I'll be seeing you here next year!

Have a Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A kind of review of 2011

Dec. 28 at 10PM

Yesterday it started raining in the morning, which quickly turned into icy-rain, and later snow, but it was too warm, and wet to stay snow, once on the ground. It was slush everywhere. Then later in the afternoon, it started to turn white. We enjoyed being outside a lot. At around 10PM we went outside the last time for the day. It was sticky snow, and you could still hear water dripping down the eaves-through.

Dec. 28 at 10PM

I didn't use flash light for the photos, and they are not too sharp, but you get the idea of the "funny" light out at that time of day. There were lights on, at the back of the house though.

Dec. 28 at 10PM
sticky snow

Dec. 28 at 10PM

Happy is the one, who loves the snow most. He was totally pooped at the end of the day.

Dec. 28

Seeing Maggie on this sofa is a joyous event.

Dec. 28

Since we've got house guests, she's been spending most of her time in the crate in the basement. Door open, but she rarely got out, only when I opened the door to the backyard. She's totally freaked.
Our guests left for the day, early morning, only to come back sometime this evening. So she didn't hear anything weird from upstairs, and she got courageous, and played with the boys, and even went upstairs with me.

The boys initially loved the newcomers, but on the second day, they found out that the guests are smokers, and since then they don't go near them. I can't think of an other explanation, since they still greeted a non-smoking guest enthusiastically. Oh well, soon the house will belong to us again, and they can relax.

Now here's my sort of review over my year in spinning, and knitting, concerning my private sock club.

I took a picture each month of what I've spun.
Review over my 2011 spinning year

This turned out to be a total of 21.5 pounds or 9.75 kilograms.

Not bad. Surpassed all my expectations!

My goal for my private sock club was, to knit a pair of socks each month, from one of my many sock books, or single patterns bought. I did not quite achieve that goal. Apparently it's hard for me to follow instructions; I just have to do my own thing once in a while. Only seven pairs are from books or downloads.

My 2011 peronsal sock club

I'm just finishing up my last, and 19th pair of socks for this year. Not bad either, considering, that I've knit and finished 60 projects total.
hats: 10
shawls: 17
scarf: 1
cowls: 2
full pairs of mittens: 6
fingerless pairs of mittens: 5
pairs of socks: 19

I've had more FO's in the past years, but I didn't spin then, or spin that much.

I can say, that my hands were never idle. There were maybe a few days, you can count on one hand, where I did not knit, spin, or crochet (which did not amount to anything, got ripped).


So, for the coming year in crafting, I'm going on a fiber/yarn/pattern buying diet. I'm stocked up quite nicely. I'll still be getting fiber from two fiber clubs I'm in. For the first three month of the new year, I'll be getting fiber from a third club, which will not be renewed. One really hard decision was to let go of Hello Yarn Fiber Club a few month ago. Once you are out, you are out. Her waiting list is a closed one, but I just had too much fiber coming in, and I had to decide which I wanted to keep, and which club I could let go.

I'm also signed up for shawl clubs, which will go into the year 2012 (looking forward to all of them. There's Romi Hill's Second Year of 7 small shawls, Westknits shawl club, and Anne Hanson's Bare Naked Knitspot club, just the patterns, not the yarn).

I wont be buying magazines, and knitting books, or single patterns for download on ravelry (very hard indeed), but I really want to knit from what I already have, and enjoy it too.

Since I'll be spinning again throughout the year, I'll be creating new yarns to knit with too.

Well, there you have it! That's what I'm planning to do, and I can be weak, but also strong willed! :o) Lets see how it goes.

So this morning the pups had fun in the snow.

BTW- Wandering Cat Yarns has a sale going on. I've already got my share. :o) Just saying.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you all Happy Holidays, and Merry Christmas!

Dec. 6

Dec. 6

Wishful thinking! This was Dec. 6th.


Happy Holidays, says Denny

Happy Holidays, says Denny

Please Sir, can I have some more ...?

Is that a cookie you've got there?

Happy Holidays, says Maggie!

Smells like one ...
Happy Holidays, says Maggie!

Would you just give me that cookie?
Happy Holidays, says Maggie!


Bribery! Kids! Tsk! Who needs it?! I'm smiling just for you!

Happy Holidays, says Happy

And here's a lovely Christmas song:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Handspun Friday - The Rikke Hats

handspun Rikke hat

Well, today I'm going to show you two hats I made with my handspun yarns.
It's called Rikke hat by Sarah Young, and I love this design. So simple, and comfortable to wear. The first one turned out a little on the large side, but it found another head to warm.

handspun Rikke hat

I used this yarn: superwash Merino, Sugared Beets, all of it, and I had to add some commercial yarn in the beginning, because I was low on yardage. I didn't adjust for using heavier weight yarn, so it's no wonder it turned out too big for me. I even needed the chain plied left over yarn to finish the hat.

FCK-Sugared Beets-3ply-3.7oz-151yds

The second Rikke hat is mine. I made it with this yarn: Falkland colorway Peacock. Not as soft as the first one, but still great to wear.

TdF 1.skein-Falkland-Peacock-chain plied-232yds

hanspun Peacock Rikke hat

It's always a bonus to see the yarn knit up. I used up almost the whole skein, just a little left over.

hanspun Peacock Rikke hat

For the cast on I used Nancy Bush's Estonian cast on, or Double-start lont tail cast on.

December spinning


O.K. one last time, just in case you've missed it. The video of the dogs playing with their little devils can be watched here, scroll down a little.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas socks

Hannah's Christmas socks

I haven't done a lot of Christmas knitting, because I've been saving knits throughout the year. But I wanted to knit a really soft pair of socks for my DD Hannah. I knew she liked red.
I found a pattern on Ravelry, which had these cute little girls with pig tails all over them. That would have been too much for me, so I've decided to use the chart just once.

Hannah's Christmas socks

I've combined three designs in this one pair of socks, links to the original will follow. I'm sure I will knit Nancy Bush's Kensington socks as written some day. I'm done with the two other designs though.

cuff: co 64sts- from Nancy Bush’s Kensington socks
stranded knitting: chart from Portti 2011 sukat
rest of the sock: from Jennifer Hagan's firefly socks

Hannah's Christmas socks

yarn: The Yarn Yard Toddy, 75% Merino 25% Nylon; the yarn feels really soft, and squishy, but it's weak; I wound it into a yarn cake, and when I pulled on the thread to cast on it broke easily; I had it in my stash from a sock club some time ago. I liked the color though.

I used left over yarns for the stranded knitting, which were different twists, and didn't play too well together, but I wanted the black with the sparkle, and of course the white, silky yarn for softness. Oh well, it's only socks.

Hannah's Christmas socks

They are wrapped and waiting to be gifted. I'm off to the airport in a few hours to pick up DD Hannah. I haven't seen her in a year. She'll be back for the holidays from Sydney, Australia.

Will be interesting to see how the pups react to having people staying here for a while. Could be we'll not be seeing much of Maggie for that time period.

I'm off now, to get some last minute things taken care off.


PS With the help from my DS I've finally managed to upload the video. You can watch it in this post, scroll down a little.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Little Devils

This morning, when I took out Denny for his second weewee, we looked on in astonishment, when a herd of people, dressed in red, with Santa hats, and bells, paired in two, trotted by our house, and down the road. It was not a dream, and it was actually nice. They chatted while trotting, and a few had on those bright yellow vests for safety. This was about 9AM.
After watching them disappear around the bend, Denny did his deed, and suddenly a straggler came running by. Denny cheered her on something fierce, and she yelled "Sorry!", while whizzing by. Nothing to be sorry for, Lady! I enjoyed this unexpected weird event.

Now, it's 10:15AM, and by chance I look out the window, and see another group, coming from the opposite direction running by. I don't think it's the same people, some where dressed as elves this time. Couldn't hear anything, since the windows are closed.
Anyway, this made my day, plus the pups where entertaining this morning too.

We are always thrilled when we find a toy for the dogs, which doesn't get destroyed in the first five minutes of bringing it home. So when we do find one, which resists, we try to get some more.
I made the mistake of giving those little devils to the pups, before I thought of taking a picture. When I finally picked up the camera to take some, they were all excited about it, and could not wait to play with them.

The pink one was meant for Happy, since it does not have horns. He's been a good boy. But they don't care about color etc. They just want to grab one, and squeak away.

little devils

I must say, Happy is learning all kinds of bad things from Denny. Since the D-man does those things all the time, like jumping up on the table with his front paws, and gets results, Happy has learned to do that too, although not very often. This shows you how excited he is about these toys.

little devils

Apparently it's first come, first serve.
little devils

Maggie is interested as well, but she's holding back.

little devils

I'll put up a video of them playing later, if and when it ever gets uploaded. It's 5 minutes of watching them play. Don't know it you'll want to watch that long. I played it once, and the pups got all excited, hearing somebody else play with their squeaky toys.

The video is here!!!

Now it's back for me to do some more cleaning, maybe some baking, if I'm still in the mood after the before mentioned activity.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Handspun Friday - 50/50

Earlier this year, I found this bag with 8oz of roving in my fiber stash. It's the left bag we are talking about today.

It looked huge, and I was surprised that it only amounted to 8oz in the end. Barely readable it said, 50 % Border Leicester, and 50% Kid Mohair (bought in 2008).
I grabbed a handful from the bag, and started spinning as I usually do, with a short forward draw. But since it's roving, and not combed top, that did not work out so well. I soon started to do some kind of long draw, there was just no other way to handle this. I was surprised how fast the bobbin filled, and how fluffy, and airy the singles on it were.

8oz-2-ply-50BorderLeicester 50 Kid Mohair- total of 634yds-1

I made 2-ply yarn out of it. It's a bit bumpy, but I was surprised how well it worked for me to do long draw spinning for the first time successfully.

8oz-2-ply-50BorderLeicester 50 Kid Mohair- total of 634yds-1

I've got 634yds in total. It feels kind of ropey, and it's a bit hairy from the mohair, but I love the look of it. I wonder if it softens after a bath, after knitting. It had a finishing bath already, and it was nice while wet.

8oz-2-ply-50BorderLeicester 50 Kid Mohair- total of 634yds-1

8oz-2-ply-50BorderLeicester 50 Kid Mohair- total of 634yds-1

This should make some kind of shawl some day, but really, I have no idea right now which one. I don't want to dye it either.

I haven't spun in ten days or so, and I don't think I'll have much time to do so for the rest of the year, but I still have some finished handspun yarn to show here.

While I'll do a lot of cleaning the upcoming days, the pups will most likely take it easy.
taking it easy

taking it easy

As always, I'm wishing you all a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Cheer!

Where Oh where is the Holiday Cheer?

Dec. 15-Happy

Gone with the snow?

Dec. 15-Happy

Oh cheer up! Be Happy!

Dec. 15-Happy