Monday, September 07, 2009

Proof my mother loves me

Not that I needed any, but this sure was a nice surprise:

Mom and Dad brought it home from a recent trip back home. This stuff is the essence of summer vacation. Ah the memories...
What a treat; thanks, Mom!

Monday, July 06, 2009

1 ball, 2 strikes

So I mentioned the other day that I started a sweater. I'm working on Lift and Separate from the original Big Girl Knits. I'm using some Debbie Bliss merino dk in color 225202. I originally picked this up for a completely different pattern that I have a memory of working on in the summer of 2006. I got all the way to starting on the second ball and then let it sit. Strike 1. I was looking a pattern that would be suitable for my newly handspun yarn when I saw that sweater and decided that I already had the perfect yarn for it. I dutifully knitted not 1, not 2, but 3 gauge swatches on 2 different sets of needles. Strike 2. Anyway, this time, I think I'm safely on base.

The color really is a dark turquoise or teal (depending on your preference), not the royal that it appears. In fact, the wine bottle in the background is royal and that picture showed the best contrast I could get.

The wine bottle is a bit of a souvenir from Pam's trip out here and is currently doing double duty:

Saturday, July 04, 2009

How we make a birthday cake

First we mix up the batter and get it into the pans and bake.

Shave the rounded top off the cake and feed it to your nearest school-age buddy.

Toss the cake on the cake plate, fill, and assemble.

Fill it with what? Dixie's, of course!

Then frost the whole thing...with this?

Nah, save that for the pretzels; bring out some more Dixie's and frost away!

Then find that kid and put 'em to work.

Happy Birthday, America!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Her name is Henrietta...

...but I call her Hank. :)

The kid and I whacked her against the table several times and now she looks rather softer and more like real yarn! Since I'm not obsessed or anything, I have now joined DragonFibers' Fall Fiber Club. You know, just to justify the spindle and the knoddy.

I also finished these:

and this:

revealing an apparent fondness for blue and green. So everyone act surprised when I reveal that the sweater I started is...teal.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Another new way to spend time with the kid

I mentioned in my last post that last weekend was spent at the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival with some friends. Well, the kiddo went with me also. He thoroughly enjoyed meeting the sheep and alpacas as well as trying something new...felting:

So Pam and I ran by Hobby Lobby and picked up some supplies. Yesterday, while the kid and I were waiting for the handspun to dry so we could whack it around a little, we tried it out.

It was fun and certainly easy. I think the element of danger (that needle is barbed to actually felt the fiber) appeals to the kid. Here's what we wound up with:

What a difference a week makes

Last week at this time, I was not a spinner. Didn't own a spindle. Didn't even think I wanted to. Then Pam came to town. We went to the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival. We met FuzzySheepCrafts there.

And, I swear this is the truth, the pair of them ganged up on me and forced me to purchase some roving and a drop spindle. Pam shoved me to the ground and held me while CBear forcibly removed my wallet from my bag and paid for it all. Anyway it went something like that.*
So once we were back home and the kid was in bed, Pam propped my eyes open with toothpicks and forced a lesson upon me. I mean, 11 o'clock at night...who does this??? I'm pretty sure she infused the fiber with some sort of drug because I was laughing myself silly and became addicted to the rhythm of the spinning. For days afterward I found myself saying things like "It's been 5 hours since I've spun anything," and having a dream about plying wool with a strand of oh-so-fine cotton. I have no idea how to ply!

Since I got started, I figured I might as well keep going, and by last night I had spun the whole ball of roving!

Then I remembered Pam telling me something about setting the twist in the middle of the night. After some IMs and Google searches and a trip to Lowes, I made this:

And wrapped for a while...

Hey look! Yarn! And I'm a spinner...

...with an empty spindle....

*Okay, it may have been more like Pam was admiring some other roving when I said, "Ooh, that's pretty." And then the vendor mentioned that what I was admiring would be a very good roving to learn on. And then I reached for my own wallet. Everything gets a little fuzzy at a fiber festival. Hee.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

"Mom, do I have an all gray shirt?"

"I think so."
"And all gray pants too?"
"Yeah, I actually bought a gray sweatshirt and gray sweatpants that you haven't worn yet. Why?"
"So I can be the all gray Iron Man."

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Thanks for Best Friends

When I got the news of my cousin Mark's on-duty death, I immediately called two of my oldest friends who were also close to his younger sister in school. When I decided to make the trip for his funeral (an 18-20 hour one-way trip), there were, of course, several details that needed working out. Some of those were already handled. Pam had already offered a place to stay. Donna offered a place to crash on the way. One more call to Paula, my oldest friend in Nebraska, and the pets and the house were handled.
None of these a big deal, right? But imagine not having this network of deep friendships that you just know you can count on. I could have boarded the dog and reserved hotel rooms, but the fluidity of our constantly changing plans would have either meant cancellations or additional charges for last minute glitches. No kennel is as welcoming as a house with two kids and a mom who love animals. No restaurant is as restorative as a home-cooked hot sausage sandwich with room for the kid to actually run around with a couple other boys. No hotel is as comforting as a home with a hug waiting, a comfortable bed that you actually KNOW is clean, and a Wii to distract the kid (okay, and the adults) while you prepare for another impossible day.
The depth of these friendships provides that one bella was watching my Facebook status updates as we crossed the country and called to tell us lunch would be ready when we got there. It means that when plans changed (again!) while we were there that another amiga didn't seem to notice that a weekend with our dog turned into a week. It allows for estimated comings and goings to be off by hours and then worked seamlessly into the routine by a third cherie.
I am humbled by the by the knowledge that these ladies look at their contribution last month as hardly worth mentioning, a matter of course. I am awestruck that I have even more friends like this who just happened not to be on the route this time who would have done any little or big thing needed.
Donna, Pam, Paula: I love you and I cherish you more than I have the ability to say.