Thursday, October 30, 2008

My New Wheel

I promise this is my last wheel. At least until I am rich and famous and I don't see that happening.

Jane finished staining and assembling my new Ashford Traditional. A beautiful cherry finish and I am going for a spin once I post.

A Typical Knit Nite

Jane was winding up a skein into a ball.

Sandy was knitting on her new Wrap Me Up Shawl that was formerly Janes project.

And Cindy and Linda? Take a look.
No, its not some new form of torture. We are making Gertrude, my dress form out of a tee shirt and duct tape. We still need to stuff the shirt and tape the back shut. (We had to cut me out of it.)
So sad, my boobs and belly are the same size.

Monday, October 27, 2008

New Old Truck

Younger Son finally has wheels. Or rather, 4 wheels. He has been driving a little moped these past couple of years. He came to visit me in the library the other day while he warmed up, as lately a trip to town was rather chilly.

But his new boss had a pick-up for sale, and he "glommed" on to it. He had been looking for a vehicle but had no ready money. His boss is going to take money out of each check until it is paid off. He is quite excited. I wonder how long it will stay white.
By the way, the snow prediction was a bust.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Yes that is right, the forcast calls for the magic precipitation itself. SNOW! Only lake effect, and it probably won't stick, and not until Monday, but it is coming.

Whoo Hooo!

And while I don't really believe the boys will get a chance to drive the "slowmobile" anytime soon, its a sign of good and chilly things to come.

Friday, October 24, 2008

If Today is Friday--Its Spinning Guild Day.

Friday morning and time for spinning guild. We were a small but might group. Jane plied up 3 skeins of 2 different yarns. Mary, who only bought her wheel 2 weeks ago was plying her 2nd and 3 skeins. She is going to be spinning circles around the rest of us.

I worked some more on my red cormo/silk blend, it spins so fine and is so pretty. I even contacted the person I got it from to see if she has more. If she doesn't have the red, maybe she has a compatible color I can spin and ply with it.

And remember that vow not to get any more wool for a while? Well--dear old Jane had some wonderful soft and crimpy light brown wool--very inexpensive. What can I say, I bought 2 pounds. And as long as I had to write a check, I also got the Lorna's Lace roving in the colorway "Amy's vintage office" a blue/brown mix.
I'm hopeless.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I finished carding the pygora fluff I got in West Branch. It was a very dark blue green color. I mized it up with some white falklands and I do like the look of it. I started out using the drum carder while at spinning last Friday. That needed adjusting so I went back to using my hand cards, but the feel and color are nice.
I took out one of my Kundert drop spindles and gave it a spin. It spun wonderfully and with the wool I no longer had problems getting a new bit to grab hold of the end to add on.

I had about 2.6 oz of white falklands top that I added to the pygora fluff. I carded until almost evenly blended in color. I like the dark tint to the orginal fluff. It gives a very nice shade to the finished rolags and the spun fiber.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sweater and Room Update

I have sleeves.

Well, to be honest, I have 1 sleeve and one cuff. But it is a start.

While Hubby was at the livestock auction yesterday I even managed to move one of the dressers back into the craftroom. I had to grab the hand truck from the barn, and polish and clean it up, and add new hand carts, but I got it in place as well as the bookshelf. Magazines are in their holders on the dresser, and books are on the bookshelf. (What a concept!) The best thing is that I also attached the swift and ball winder to the top of the bookcase so I now have a dedicated winding station.

Some of the books are a bit oversized but at least they are all together.

Oh, did you notice I got a new camera?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Rose Green Sweater

Whoopee! I am almost ready to start sleeves for the Rose Green Cardigan. Good thing. I have been browsing on Ravelry and found another one I want to make, besides the items I already have in progress and a Wrap Me Up Shawl I want to start soon.
I would post pictures of the sweater, but unfortunately I need to get a new camera. The zoom button broke off the camera. I can zoom using a toothpick, or pen, but kinda ruins the mood of the picture taking.
Spinning guild met this morning. I am still spinning some deep cranberry colored silk/Cormo blend. I also started carding my pygora with some faulklands. I got some done and will hand card the rest. But it does spin wonderfully on one of my Kundert spindles. The white wool gives a nice tint to it as well. I may need to send for more.
Yeah, like I need more fiber.
Remember the previous pictures of PART of the stash. But it is a nice blend.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Not so Empty Room

I got some comments on my seemingly empty craft room.  It may be a bit empty now, but remember that I have 2 dressers, a bed, a possible shelving unit, more tubs, another wheel and still leave the center full for either the floor or tubs to put the blocking boards on. 
 I think I mentioned that I have two 4 ft by 4 ft boards that I will put the little foam blocking squares on to block my knitting on--beginning, maybe this weekend, with the Cinnamon Wave Wrap.  I will try to get pictures of that in progress as well as the finished item.
I posted a picture a few weeks ago of Hubby "buzzing" wood.  His most recent truckload of slab wood included some that were almost paper thin.  Soooo, ever thinking, Hubby decided that instead of trying to cut these on the buzz saw, he would hang one edge over the end of the picnic table and use his skil-saw to cut them.  Since some of them were 16 feet long, I of course was drafted to help.  Basically that involved me just holding the end down on the table while he zipped through the other end and threw the pieces in the wheelbarrow.
So picture this today.  Temperatures have dropped and by 6:30 was about 43 degrees.  (Last time we did this, it was upper 70's.)  House was very warm, maybe 75 degrees so I had on a tee and shorts in the house.  Hubby says, I'm ready to fill another wheelbarrow. So I grab a jacket and bop outside.  Then I decide maybe I'll get a warmer jacket.  So there I am, wearing my new spruce green Carhartt barn jacket, with my hood up, because my hair still wasn't dry from washing this morning.  Leather gloves, and did I mentioned I still had my birkys on?  I must have been quite the sight. 
But, when Older Son drove by while we were out there, seated in the cockpit of a huge soybean combine, with 3 cars trailing behind him, at least he waved.

Fall is Here

I have never claimed to be a fan of summer. So this recent heat wave of temps in the 80's has been most unwelcome at the Farmmom homestead.

While winter remains my favorite season--with lots of cold temperatures and plenty of snow, I must admit that autumn is a close second. Summer is way too hot and humid, even here in Michigan. Spring is too changeable and muddy and sloppy.

But now that the trees are changing and weeds are drying--things are looking up. If fall is here, can winter be far behind?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Completed Room

I haven't shown any pictures of the completed craft room. I moved in "some" of my stash and I can confidently state I have probably come close to SABLE status. (Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy)

Here is a picture of the roving corner. Keep in mind that there are at least a couple bags and 1 tub more that belong in this section. I also have 4 bags with my blocking squares and 4 large magazine files. I need one more for the occasional magazines.

Humph--there go the funky pictures again. Maybe I should not reduce the size so much. (note: I up-sized the picture and now it looks much better.)
Any way, here is a picture of the yarn corner. But keep in mind, at least 2 more tubs belong here, plus a couple sweaters worth of bags. That tall thing is a old aluminum rack that my mother used when she ironed clothes. Needless to say I rarely needed it for that, but it is great to hang skeins from when I set the twist.
And in another corner, or at least along the wall are my spinning wheels, waiting for the Traditional to make an appearance. I still have lots to move back in. Hubby lost interest once the manual labor was done. I plan to move two of the dressers back in to hold knitted goodies along with a good dose of Cedar or Lavender scented goodies. I suppose I better put the bed back too. It is destined for the roving corner but I plan to assemble it upside down, like a trundled bed. Lots of room for wool underneath that way, and tubs can always go on top too. I think that once I bring in the 2 4X4 plywood squares, I can just pull out matching tubs to balance the boards on for blocking. So far the center of the floor is fairly empty.
Hmmmm. Good thing there aren't any fiber festivals for a long time. I may just take a year long moratorium.
Of course there is still the spinning days coming up at Chickasaw Farms. And they have bunches of tempting Shetland roving. I sense trouble ahead.

Sadie Takes a Walk

I took Sadie for a walk today on her little blue leash. Then she got all combed out and some fresh litter and greens. The little lady was all tuckered out, but condescended to pose for a picture.
Life is rough.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Works in Progress

Time for some finished and unfinished objects--the main finished object is the craft room. I hung some curtains to prevent direct light on the wool but am still waiting for hubby to touch up a little of the paint and then move in dressers and tubs. Then I can block and finish the Cinnamon Wave Wrap for church. I moved my wheels in there, to make them easily accessible.

Now for some unfinished, I have 2 socks on needles, besides the 2 at a time pair which drive me crazy. I took one pair to West Branch and then decided the baby cables were not showing up so frogged back to the ribbing. In the process I had problems with one stitch so had to wait till I got home to a crochet hook to fix and knit more on them. The striping allowed no definition for the cables, so they are going to be just plain vanilla socks.

I have cast on a pair in Opal, in a hot pink for a lacy patterned pair. I found the pattern in Sensational Socks and the pattern is (I think) Bluebell. I am still on the 3X2 ribbing so will have lots of knitting on this pair yet too. I have them both in the same basket so I can do the vanilla socks when I need to do no-brainer knitting and the lacy pair when I have time to pay attention to what I am doing. I will need to list these on my Ravelry site.

I also finished spinning the pink Shetland--1 oz ball, and need to ply it. I started my blue 1 oz ball on my Kundert spindle so I will have more room. I want to spin up my little package of blue-green pygora that I picked up last weekend. I should be able to use the same smaller spindle I used for the Shetland I think. Or I will find another empty spindle. I finished spinning the August roving club package of Thermograph color way from Spunky Eclectic but no pictures. It is wonderful Blue Faced Leister and so soft. I may have enough to make a shoulder scarf/small shawl. I need to study patterns I don't think there is enough for the fichu, but may be able to make an adaptation.

My cardigan has been my main knitting project lately. I started adding a bit of waist shaping by putting 13 stitches of 1X1 ribbing on each side. That will only take it in about 2 inches total, but then, I don't go in much more than that. Maybe you can see it on this picture. It is between the 2 purple markers, and has only been for 6 or 7 rows. I also had to frog back about 2 inches. I had picked it up mid row turned the work instead of finishing the row. (sob, 2 whole inches!) But about 12 more rows and I can fuse the top of the pockets to the body. Whooo hoo! I have also been making calculations for the sleeves so will be ready to start them when the length is right.

West Branch Pictures

Well, time to post some pictures from last weekend. I haven't been able to post from the laptop all week, but finally, here are some of the pictorial highlights.

I mentioned we arrived and unloaded on Friday evening. We found most booths already set up as we carted our stuff to the far end of the building. Some, the Watson Spinning Wheels were set up and covered, but others were still putting on final touches here and there.

It didn't take us too long to unload the van, We then started sorting out items and putting it at least somewhat together.
After that we went for supper, a very unimpressive meal at the local Big Boys, but apparently it WAS almost closing time.

Next morning we finished setting up and settling down for business. Rachel had a class on making bobbin lace. The rest of us sat and spun or knit or shopped. It was a long day. Especially when they had someone give a lecture at the vendors supper in the evening. We finally skipped out of that and headed to Wal-Mart (as Rachel had ruined her last change of clothes shearing sheep) and then home.

The next day, I tried to stop shopping but Jane dragged me down to a booth owned by Yarn or a Tale and I was "forced" to buy 2 bags of hand painted roving--one a sock blend in shades of blue and green, and a lovely soft silk/wool blend in pastel pinks and melon.

Here are a couple more random pictures. Those two fuzzy friends are the newest friends of the AngoraGirls. Cinnamon and Nutmeg. Jane had been told she could not come home with a bunny. So she didn't come home with A bunny, she got 2 little boys.

One of the last items I was forced into purchasing, late Saturday was my little lady, Sadie. I have been calling her a black Satin Angora, but while her head and feet are a glistening black, her body and the long hair is more of a charcoal gray. The satin really shows as she just glistens, and she is only about 13 weeks old now. She has been handled by children since birth so I have a much easier time grooming her. She is a perfect little cuddler.
Plus-she is litter trained all ready

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Anti-Monkey Butt Powder?

You know, I really love living in rural Michigan.  The deer in the fields, and yes, crossing roads so be careful.  The geese honking overhead or filling a newly chopped corn field.  An occasional hawk or blue heron in the sky.  The summer smells of hay and dusty roads.  The slip-sliding of sanded but unsalted winter roads.  Cattle grazing in the fields.  Baby calves, kitties and the fair.
And the signs.  I remember a sign at the co-op advertising pig ears at one time.  That was up for quite a while.  Now the local Tractor Supply Store has a sign proclaiming "Anti-Monkey Butt Powder  $4.99" 
What is Anti-Monkey Butt Powder?  And don't you just love the mental images conjured up by that name?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Lamb & Wool Festival

I wanted to wait until I had a chance to upload some of my photos with this post, but I'm not sure when I will have time to do that. So I just wanted to say that I had a great time. I had not planned on going but since Jane needed me to be the designated driver I happily agreed to go.
And I want to say for the record that the Welcome Motel was a very nice motel--a family run operation, clean, and we even had fresh flowers in the room. We couldn't believe that they were real, until we tipped the vase and felt the water.
We unloaded most of our stuff at the fair grounds on Friday evening after arriving and then set-up Saturday morning. Since there were 4 of us, I had plenty of time to check out the other vendors. Probably too much time, as I did some hefty fiber shopping. I found lots of roving, and concentrated on fiber I haven't tried, I got some silk blends, some buffalo blend, and some more of the fabulous Raspberry Bunnie--the same batch as the ball I got in Allegan. I ended up needing to send it back with Rachel, as our van was very full.
And of course, my favorite and nearly last purchase was Sadie, a beautiful little12 week black satin angora bunny. I hadn't planned on replacing Mocha, but my friends practically forced me to purchase the little honey. She is very tame and used to being handled. I hope we can get along much better.
One nice thing about this festival at West Branch was getting to know vendors. I have a couple that I purchased from (Yarn Hallow and Yarn or a Tale) that I found on Ravelry so I will have easy access to their fiber after this.
Great weekend. Fun times.