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January 2010

making yogurt, one more thing

... and the Friday Project Round-up

brr-rr......! The wind is howling out there.  It doesn't make me want to do outdoor things, that's for sure.  What a miserable day to try to move tropical plants.  It's the kind of day when we ask ourselves why this business?  I tried to set us up for the day with a hot breakfast of mixed grains, oatmeal and chopped apples cooked with cinnamon, topped with last night's fresh yogurt.   

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Every time I make yogurt I remind myself that there is one more thing I want to tell you about making yogurt.  Here goes.  Your starter is paramount.  Protect it.  Without some good yogurt put away, it is difficult to make a good next batch.  There's nothing magic about it.  Before I start eating a new batch, I fill a small glass jar with my fresh yogurt.  It gets stored away in the refrigerator.  The second thing I need to say about this is that I actually have two little jars stored.  One from each of the last two batches of yogurt I've made.  Call it insurance.  (This means that the first time, you will have to put away two little jars.) When I get ready to make a batch of yogurt, I take the oldest jar out for my starter.  For me, this means that it is probably about 1 1/2 weeks old.  However, There have been times when I've been away and my starter has waited for up to three months.  If the glass jars are full and capped, it probably will still work.  So, that's it.  Easy! 

The other thing I've been thinking about is a Friday posting regimen.  I want to make it easier for me to figure out what to post.  I'm thinking that Friday is a perfect day for the week's project round-up, a show of what I've been working on. 

Spindling: The cops I showed you earlier in the week turned into 200 yd. of a two ply lace wt.  It is soaking now. 

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Knitting:  I've wanted to knit Anne Hanson's Rivolo scarf.  It looked like perfect TV knitting, with only a small repeat of 9 sts. and 8 rows.  This is a project I can carry to meetings and enjoy while my aattention is divided.  I'd also recommend it to anyone thinking that lace is difficult.  Sweet and easy.  I'm knitting it in Ball and Skein's Elise, the Mist color-way.  Thanks, Anne for another enjoyable knit. 

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Spinning:  I've got a lot of that lovely carded merino done, but nothing since last Sunday.  Tomorrow. 


walk with me wednesday.. frozen marsh

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One of the many reasons that I love winter, is that the same low temperatures that make me want to stay curled up in a chair indoors, also allow me to go places outdoors that I can't go in the warmer months.  And, I might add, without bugs.  Saturday was cold, and windy, and bright blue sky sunny.  I'd spend an hour or so sitting with friends spinning and then bundle up to go outdoors, exploring the marshy shoreline on which our retreat house was perched.  You can't imagine how delighted I was to find that much of the marsh was frozen and that I could walk on top.  The tides had left lace upon the grasses. 


Ten Minutes (for Tuesday)

Detail of yarn ball

One of the first things I do to prepare for a spinning workshop, retreat or other such meetup, is to gather up all of my partially filled bobbins and decide which ones I can empty.  Running out of bobbin space when you're away from home is counterproductive, right?  This also gives me the opportunity to see what projects I've got on hold, abandoned, or have finished and left the ends hanging.  This would be a good routine to program as once a month housekeeping, say before the spinning group meets.  In addition to the bobbins, I decide which of my spindles are coming along and again, what needs to be wound off.  Those cops (not all were large enough to be considered finished) were added to the drawer where the cops of spindled yarn are kept while more accumulate.  I was surprised to see how many were in there. I spindle quite a lot, a bit here and there.  Those minutes had really added up.  Time to get some plied. I decided to set up my Spindler's Kate on a corner of my desk, thinking that I'd use some of those lost minutes waiting on phone calls, etc. to wind off two strand balls in preparation for plying. 

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That's a bit of cashmere and silk.  Somewhere in my stash are a skein or two already to go.  This will be a nice addition to the yardage.  

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for Blue Monday

It was a great weekend, full of spinning, knitting, and lots of visiting. The waterfront location presented loads of photo ops.




That's it until Wednesday. Notice that there wasn't any snow. Sure made walking easy.

Okay, posting from my phone was an experiment.  Pretty fuzzy pics.  Guess I need to find a different app.  Any suggestions?


Hurry up and slow down

I'll bet there have been times when you are getting ready to go on vacation that you start thinking that it is easier to stay home.  Seriously, it is a lot of work getting ready to relax.  In preparation for the long weekend we just had, I prepared a pound of fiber.  I worked my way through most of the basket of roving I'd carded, about 14 oz.

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This weekend, is a spinning retreat.  The Bayberry Spinners invited members of the RISG to join them on a retreat. It will be a small group, about 20.  From Friday to Sunday, no cooking, no TV, just whatever.  It didn't take long from me to make up my mind. 

I want to take another basket full of the same carded blend.  I don't mind the time spent, fiber preparation is part of the fun.  I love to watch the colors as they go into the carder.   


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What else is going into the bag??  hmmm... knitting, a book, sweatpants, a bottle of something or other, a camera, some hiking boots and my favorite hat.  I don't know if the beach has snow on it or not, but I'll be there. 


walk with me wednesday.. festoon!

festoon:
–noun
1. a string or chain of flowers, foliage, ribbon, etc., suspended in a curve between two points.
2. a decorative representation of this, as in architectural work or on pottery.
3. a fabric suspended, draped, and bound at intervals to form graceful loops or scalloped folds.


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**party decorations courtesy of Mother Nature in conjunction with the January Thaw

my favorite hat

or.. Knitting in the Years Before Ravelry.

Just after the holidays, I missed my favorite hat.  It isn't a particularly special hat, but it is my take anywhere, roll up and stuff in my pocket, throw in my bag, wear when I want to go walking, hat. It is soft and lofty and fits like it should.  I made it about eight years ago, I think.  I missed it terribly.  Guess it IS pretty special to me.  I searched and searched, looking in all my knitting bags, a suitcase I'd used, and under the seats of the car.  Nothing. I'd need to make another.  JUST. LIKE. IT  I remembered that a friend had ordered some of the yarn, in exactly the same color, several years ago for her yarn shop.  If there were two skeins left, I'd be able to make another.  I couldn't have told you what the yarn was, other than an alpaca boucle, if I hadn't found it.  Lucky, huh?  Then, there was the problem of the pattern.  How many stitches, when did the brim roll, how long??  Surely, I had written it down.  Before Ravelry, I kept notebooks, with pictures.  I went through notebook after notebook.  Finally, I decided to wing it.  You'd think that I would have the hat memorized, after wearing for so many years.  Funny how we stop seeing things. 

The final hat was similar.  Not the same.  Maybe, if I washed it.  But, no.  I wore the hat once before finding my old one.  If that's what it takes to find something special, it was worth it.  The hat was tucked inside my laptop case, waiting for me to need to pack up and go somewhere.

The old hat is on the left.  Chris has decided that he likes the new one. 

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2 skeins, Plymouth Alpaca Boucle.

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Here's the entry I made for the hat.  I'm going to look for some more of that yarn in a color to over-dye.  I want a blue one to match my new mitts.

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Not these.  I made those for my niece when she was about 5 yrs. old. 

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and this, when Fun Fur was fun.  Maybe I'll get back to keeping a notebook.  I love Ravelry, but this kind of note taking is a wonderful reference.  Fun, too.




those knitted gifts

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Susie's Reading Mitts by Janelle Masters  These were a present to me.  Knit in a mink / cashmere blend that I dyed in a color for me.  Yummy!  Several other presents were knit from the same yarn, each dyed specially for the recipient.  I used Susan Lawrence' cowl pattern, Forest Canopy, for one, (no pictures) and two more cowls (one in natural and another in black) knit with Anne Hanson's Ivy Vines.  Again, no pictures.  What was I thinking?  I've knit several cowls form both of the patterns.  Love them.

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Aviatrix baby hat by Justine Turner   Cute pattern, can't wait to meet the little one.


one + one =

this + this = that

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If all goes as planned, I may have some time to spin this weekend.  We'll see.  In preparation, I carded up a pound of the Shetland blend I'm working on.  I'm thinking about two pounds equals a sweater.  hmmmm...

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That ought to keep me busy.