Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Give me a Break!!!

Can you believe it? It's the end of November and our backyard looks like this.

Nov. 29-give me a  break

It's been raining all day, heavily, so much so that when I took the dogs outside, they let their heads hang, and looked at me as if to say, "are you kidding me?", and went right back inside. I didn't blame them. Out front it's the same. Plus, another bonus for this time of year (not), it gets dark early, and I have to go find their poop with a flashlight, in the rain, on a dark ground. Give me a break!

If there would be snow, I would find everything without a flash light, the dogs would be wet, but not dirty. O.K. end of rant. It doesn't help, but I don't want to suffer in silence.

It didn't look good for my November spinning early in the month, but then I decided on a big spinning project, where I'm spinning undyed variegated BFL fiber, and that goes really fast. I still have a lot more to go, but it's fun spinning. The four finished skeins have not had a bath yet. I'm waiting to finish it all, and then they'll hop into a dye bath.

November spinning

I had to rest my right wrist the last few days, too much spinning, and the day before yesterday I knit a hat in a few hours, that didn't help either (but was totally worth it). More about that soon (as soon as the hat is dry, and I can take pictures, which also depends on the weather, nothing but grey here).

How am I supposed to write a cheerful blog post, when all I want to do is cry like a baby in a wet diaper?
Well the D-man is always good for a laugh!

big enough?

Whenever we bring home a bone this big, it's naturally his. He chews it through the middle, and after it's divided the others may have a go at one part of it as well.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Peacock Hat

I made this hat back in August. I saw the pattern, and loved it immediately. I want to do more, just have to find the right heads to put them on.

Peacock hat

Peacock hat

Peacock hat

Peacock hat
pattern:Peacock by Karen Borrel

yarn: Patons Classic Wool Merino, colorways Natural Mix & Royal Purple

needles: 4.5mm


Monday, November 28, 2011

Old Broom

"A broom is a cleaning tool consisting of stiff fibers attached to, and roughly parallel to, a cylindrical handle, the broomstick. (Wikipedia)

I had a broom once, but somebody stole it from my front porch this weekend. Halloween is over, so who would do such a thing? It's not in a ditch down the road either. Hmm.


I'm starting to despair with the weather we are having. If only the ground would freeze up, but noooo, nothing but mud, and another three days of rain in the forecast. This could all be snow, this SHOULD be snow! It's driving me crazy. Twelve paws can do a lot of mud prints throughout the day. Sigh.

Happy Sept. 22
Happy was sleeping when I crept up to him to take a picture. His face hasn't adjusted from being pressed against the pillow yet.


This dog bed was once Maggie's, but she never liked it in her room. She found a better place, under the desk, where she feels comfortable. So I dragged it downstairs and put it up in my studio. This is important information for future blog posts!

Happy used to sleep on the wooden floor by the window. He immediately loved this bed, and so did Denny.

Nov. 5
In fact they love it so much, that they'll even share it. Of course it's not Happy's first choice, but Denny doesn't give a fig about it.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Handspun Friday - Sugared Beets

Pinks and purples are not really "my" colors, but this fiber's blend of all those colors just spoke to me, very loud indeed. It made me happy to spin this fiber in heavier yarn as usual, which came out as worsted weight yarn. I'm hoping it will be enough for a hat, even if I have to use the chain plied left over to finish it.

fiber: FatCatKnits Merino, 4oz, colorway Sugared Beets
FCK-Sugared Beets-Merino-4oz

yarn: 3-ply, 3.7oz, 151yds, plus 19.5yds chain plied from left over singles

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

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

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

Have a wonderful weekend!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Breathe Deep!

As promised here're more details about my Breathe Deep mittens.
Breathe Deep mittens by Kirsten Kapur

I've been wanting to knit them for a while now. I think it's a lovely design, and I will be making at least one other pair. Knit with worsted weight yarn, they are a fast knit too.

Breathe Deep mittens by Kirsten Kapur

Breathe Deep mittens by Kirsten Kapur

pattern: Breathe Deep by Kirsten Kapur
yarn: Peruvian Collection Highland Wool, 2 balls
needles: 4mm
size: s/m

And on doggy news: Maggie has discovered the toy bin, and that she can get stuff out of there! Took her long enough. For the longest time she watched the boys doing it, and then suddenly, one night, she dug in.

Maggie searching for toys in the big blue bin-2

She's the worst too! She does not rest until the bin is almost empty, and the floor is a mine field of toys, where you don't know were to step next. But it's such a pleasure to see her busying herself.

Maggie searching for toys in the big blue bin-1

Just the other night, she brought me a tennis ball, and threw it in front of my feet, barking, to tell me she's ready to play now. I wasn't. So I picked up the ball, and put it on my desk, ignoring her. She looked at me with her head tilted, barked at me once, and thought some more, then turned and dug out another ball. Rinse and repeat. I had to laugh silently, and was wondering for how long she would keep it up. In the end, I had six balls on my desk, before this little game was over. She was really frustrated that I didn't throw the ball for her, but really, I'm already slave to my dogs, I want to play with them, when I want. They are sneaky that way! Before you know it, you are engaged into play with any of them, whether you want it or not. :o)


Monday, November 21, 2011

So, the heat is on since Friday, November 18. It was a cold day, and in the late afternoon, I realized it's not just me I have to worry about, but the house plants too. I've turned it to 16C, that's enough warmth. On Saturday I was thinking about turning it off again, it was such a balmy Spring like day. As I write this, it's Sunday morning, and I can't seem to stop sneezing! I hope I don't get a cold now.

frosted fern with Reindeer
(This is instead of bread pictures. It was too cute to not bring it home. It's frosty fern, and I hope it will at least last until Christmas)

Another thing I did over this past weekend was baking bread. I used to do this more regularly in the past, but then stopped. We like rye bread, but that's hard to find here, not the way we like it anyway, and I don't like it with preservatives, and other additives in it either. I've never gotten used to the bread you can buy here. It looks nice, but it's just not right. It feels fake. After a lecture my son attended last week at University, we decided to start baking our own bread again, with a little help of a breadmaker.

I had my doubts about this machine, but at the same time curious. So it arrived on Friday, I read the manual, set it up, switched to the recipe part of the booklet, and used the first and easiest White bread recipe to see how it works. It can make 1.0lb -2.0lbs of bread. I started with the smallest amount. The whole process lasted 3hours 45minutes, which included me measuring the ingredients, and putting it all into the machine. Once I pressed START, I was tempted to stand beside it, and watch it work, but finally thought better of it, and did some other work. There were some peeping sounds, and others, which alarmed me, but since it always stopped by itself, and no smoke was coming out anywhere, I left it to finish it's work.

At some point it started to smell like a bakery throughout the house, that was nice. That made me hopeful, that there actually would be some bread at the end of this process! After it's final peep, I took out the pan, and tried to get the bread out of it, but the paddle was stuck deep in the dough, and at first it would not come loose. With the help of my son it eventually did. There it was - bread! (no pictures, because as soon as it was cooled down a little it was sliced, and eaten, well most of it).

It was perfect White bread (at least it was unbleached, organic flour), really, it tasted very good.

So, Saturday I made another bread, this time Oatmeal bread, because I didn't have anything else at home, to try different doughs etc. But I made the large amount, and I was so excited that I forgot to but the paddle in first. You have to add the ingredients in a certain order, and I had to dump it all out to add the paddle first. Of course the order was no more, I tried it anyway. It turned out a nice, tense brick of bread. I think it would have needed some more water. Anyway, no pictures of that one either. It looked funny on top, but the taste was good too. Anyway, I see more bread coming on. I'd like to get some Whole Wheat flower, and rye flour, but most of all some Spelt flour, which I like best, and I'll be off to make many different breads with many different ingredients, form nuts, to dried fruits, sweet bread, and dark bread. Can't wait! Eventually there might be some pictures to show too. :o) (I hope the bread maker lasts!)

O.K. enough of that! Here's some knitting! I did that hat as a test knit for Stephen West, I don't think I've shown it here. It's been a while.

Helm hat test knit done

pattern: Helm by Stephen West
yarn: Elann Peruvian Collection Highland Wool, 1.5 skeins
needles: 3.75mm
size: one size


what I didn't like about the pattern was, that the cables where not centered


what I did like was, the short row ear flaps

rustic yarn shot

All in all it's a nice warm hat, already in use.
Helm & Breathe Deep mittens
More about the mittens next time.

I need to go find some tissues, because I've got a runny nose now. Darn.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Handspun Friday - Joshua Tree

Ginny of FatCatKnits has got a competitor in Anna Marie of Corgi Hill Farms, in my favorite dyer spot in my heart.

This is Joshua Tree on Merino/Tussah Silk.

Corgi Hill Farm-80Merino-20Tussah Silk-5oz-Joshua Tree I

I turned it into 2-ply yarn, with 565yds from 4.7oz. I had only about 4 inches of singles left on one bobbin when I was done. That's just great! The colors didn't line up as I would have liked, but that's not so easy to accomplish when doing 2-ply yarn. But I didn't want to chain ply, and loose a lot of yardage. I quite like how it turned out.

Corgi Hill Farm-merino-tussah silk-4.7oz-2-ply-565yds

Corgi Hill Farm-merino-tussah silk-4.7oz-2-ply-565yds

This took me much longer to spin than it should have. The reason was, that I was avoiding the wheel, and fiber waiting, because it was hard to work with. Even after pre-drafting it the fibers stuck to each other, especially where the darker colors were, but not exclusively. I know that can happen, and I love the colors too much to give up on Anna Marie's fiber, in fact there are a few braids waiting to be spun already. Like this one:

Corgi Hill Farm-merino-tussah 80-20-5oz0Blueberry Bread Pudding 2

They are very different from Ginny's dyed fiber, and so I will enjoy spinning their fiber however the mood will strike me.

I've also made another yarn purchase, since the girls of Wandering Cat Yarns were having a shop update on my birthday.

Wandering Cat Yarns from Nov. 11 update

Really pretty yarn. As soon as I know what patterns I will knit with them, I'd like to cast on.


And I'm wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead, with a picture of my beautiful boy Happy, who's hoping to get me to go play with him. With that face, and those lovely brown eyes, he never has to wait for long.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

First Snow This Fall!

Yeah! We had some snow fall for about ten minutes, and we were out in a flash, enjoying it! :o)

first snowfall for 10 minutes

first snowfall for 10 minutes

first snowfall for 10 minutes

first snowfall for 10 minutes

first snowfall for 10 minutes

first snowfall for 10 minutes


Monday, November 14, 2011

Thank you!

Thank you all for your birthday wishes! I had a lovely day. But it's always over so fast!

I've got some pretty flowers.

birthday flowers with Denny's nose

New things get noticed in our house.

birthday flowers with Maggie's nose
That's' Maggie's nose in back there.

birthday flowers with Maggie
Yep, here she is.

Amongst other things, I also got this life safer bracelet ( I call it little dog collar). I love handmade stuff!
live safer bracelette

life safer bracelete

There was also this lovely card in the background, and matching my polka dot klox, this lovely cup and saucer. It came all the way from Australia from DD Hannah.

matching my polka dot klox, a gift from Hannah

While I was taking pictures of the flowers, Happy and Maggie squeezed themselves on a bath mat (in the kitchen).
Happy and Maggie sitting on a matt

We found those bath mats at Costco's, and I thought they would be great for the dogs (and it's machine washable too). I brought one inside, when I unloaded all the groceries, and put it down in the kitchen (just for a moment). And ever since then, one or the other, or two of the pups sit on it. They love it! It holds the shape of anything stepping on it, paw print, or foot print for a while, it's so soft. Maggie likes to shake it, like her worst enemy, and goes totally crazy doing it, so much so, that Happy goes into hiding, probably happy, that he's not that bath mat. :o)


Friday, November 11, 2011

Hanspun Friday - Gurthrie

Here's another beautiful colorway - Gurthrie - dyed by Ginny of FatCatKnits.



I made it into a 2-ply yarn with 405yds.


Fall is here, and it's beautiful!


The leaves of the Weigelia bushes turned beautiful colors, just before they'll fall off. Looking at those colors, makes me want to have them on fiber too.


Out front, the strong wind yesterday, helped our huge Maple tree to let go of its leaves. Around here it smells earthy, something only Fall can do. Each season has its own smell, and I can't wait for the air to bring first snow smell with it.


We have huge yew bushes in our garden, and I'm thinkingn of removing them, seeing how toxic they are. It's amazing, that only the bright red jellowy pulp around the seed is not poisonous, when everything else on this bush is deadly. From the wood, to the green leaves. Mostly the dogs ignor them, but I find Denny pulling on branches sometimes, and Happy pushes his toys into the bush, and God knows why, plays in there. They are not interested in the berries though.

There are A LOT this year! That's only from one bush, next to the stairs!


And while I was out, yesterday, taking pictures, Denny was surveying his kingdom.


It's my birthday today too! 11/11/11 - isn't that a wonderful birthday date? I wish I was just 11 years old too. :o)


Oh, one more thing. I finished another pair of Andrea's mitts for Hannah per her request.
Andrea's mitts for Hannah
Since they fit in with the color scheme today, here they are. Second pair went really fast. She choose the colors. Pattern is from Kirsten Kapur.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend!