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June 2005

at home: by 'Sweetie Pie'

I live in a house..
062805002  I watch TV. 

062805009  play with my toys..  and I play with things that aren't exactly MY toys.. like the toilet paper.  It sure can go a long way.  Sometimes I go get it and carry the end all around the house.  Gram thinks I'm very smart when I do this.  Gramps... well, I don't think he feels exactly the same way.  And then there is the fridge.. where all the really good treats are kept.  Yesterday when Gram opened it's door I ran over and grabbed the carrot bag and pulled it right out and onto the floor where I could open it better.  Gram helped me and hugged me and gave me pieces of the carrots all broken up, just the way I like them!

062805008  and I eat pizza for lunch ( well, if I eat my lunch, I get pizza treats)  Life is good, here in the house.  Time for a nap, huh Gram??


All right now,for those of you who actually read this to the end, I am the "Auntie' not the 'Gram'. As much as I love to pet, squeeze, kiss, hug that little lambykins... she does not live in my house.  Her Gram, however, is trying to figure out housetraining.  Anyone have any experience with this sort of thing?  You know, with SHEEP?  Gram is having a hard time thinking about the barn in winter.  I mean, she's still stuck on the barn in summer, if you catch my drift.

remember me?

062805010   Hi!  Remember me??  I've been really busy since I last talked to you.  You can't believe how much I have to learn.  Living in a house, with people, is a lot more complicated than life in the barn, believe me!  Come on.. I'll show you around.  You'll see what I mean. 

062805012  Oh... that's my cat, one of them.  And, I have a dog.  That makes three languages other than my own that I have to learn.  Sometimes, things get lost in the translation. 

stay tuned.. tomorrow 'Sweetie Pie' shows us her house..

lucet, lucid

Another day too hot.  Too hot to do most anything except pond cendered activities.  I cooled off swimming laps and waded in to fill watering cans for all the thirsty planters, many times.  Everybody needed a drink.  It was too hot to concentrate on anything, even knitting.  Then I remembered the LUCET.


I bought the lucet last fall, or summer, I'd have to go back in my blog to find out.  All this time the lucet has been sitting on my desk, next to my mouse... long time.  Today, being as I needed something really simple, I picked it up and started to play.  I've got the hang of it.


Now, if I could figure out how to wrap a core fiber using it.  I know it can be done, just have to google some directions.

adventures with the sock

The sock continues to have adventures.  In a remarkably brave attempt (on the socks part) to join me in my weekend, damn it's hot, let's do things to stay cool activities; the sock and I went out in the kayak for a paddle.  The sock resisted the urge to cool itself by jumping into or trailing its yarn in the water.


I did not (resist).  We paddled to a lovely area of the pond where many old cedars stand as skeletons, places for birds to nest and ducks to hide.


After startling a trio of Mallards the sock decided to go ashore.. a stump could well be an island to a sock.. and catch the view.  Please note the sock's life line still attached to the kayak.


A good time was had by all.  It is uncertain whether all this traipsing around with the sock has really increased productivity.  I suspect that it has not, but that it has upped the silliness photo ops.  Ahhh, the force of blogging. 
Later in the day, still in the interest of staying as cool as possible,


I cranked on the AC and plied up (using the extremely long draw method taught by Alden Amos several weeks ago) some wool / mohair I had waiting on bobbins.


Yesterday was perfect.  Perfect, perfect, perfect...!  C left in the morning to go watch his mom for a day or so and I left to drive half way across the state to do some fibery kinds of business.  The drive was awesome, both directions.  The sky blue and cloudless and the air, this time of year, everything smells sweet.   (This morning I got myself out early, 5:30, it's supposed to be a HOT one. I made it down the front walk and I stopped dead in my tracks just to smell the air, it's amazing!) You can hardly imagine what newly mown hay and blooming lupine smell like.  Back to yesterday.. I lunched alone (it was late and no one else was in the place) at a really wonderful place I hadn't tried before.  I ate so much that when I finally got around to dinner, it was easy, just about me.. a shot of tequila, olives and cheese.  Afterwards, I grabbed my paddle and headed onto the pond.  The breeze was up, again... perfect!  I read, I knit, I planted a few pots of flowers and sat on the deck.  It was just the day I wanted and needed.  after the last week or so, I was ready for a 'me' day, a rare thing to come by.  Here are the pics:

Dsc_0002  I really am enjoying this scarf pattern.  It's perfect (there's that word again, tired of it yet??) for handpainted yarn.  None of those long stripes.  Here they make sense.
And one of the gardens..

Time to go water the garden before it get's too hot to wear my bug proofing long pants.  With any luck this will be the last day I need them, maybe the heat will kill off the bloodsuckers.

little bits..

A little bit of this, a little bit of that... seems like that was the way the day progressed.  I had great intentions.  This morning I set up the skein winder on the deck, got out some silk I wanted to part out into 160 yd. skeins.  As I let the yarn slip through my fingers, first one knot, then two, then... oh my.. so I decided that I would just make 200 yd. skeins and see what happens.  This is the same 100% silk that I'm using for my scarf.  I really like the yarn, I like the way it takes dye and the way it knits up.  It IS annoying to have to deal with the tied ends but hey, I'm dealing.  It's not THAT bad.  I can't spit splice it like wool, but it splices and when it's knit, it's invisible.  Still, it stopped me while I thought it out.
Then there were the black flies.  They were back with a vengence this morning.  Must have been the 36 F night we had.  Can you believe it?? At 2am I checked the thermometer and it was at 38.  I reset the high / low function and sure enough, we just beat frost.  It was a long night waiting. 
A bit of gardening, a bit of knitting, and oh yes.. I charted out the scarf pattern after downloading the Knitting Symbols Font package.  That was interesting. 
In answer to the question on sock yarn... it is Sockotta.  And yes, I like it. 

weeds and seeds

More than twice during the past week someone has asked me; 'what's a weed' ?  My answer has been somehting like.. 'anything that you don't want in your garden is a weed, if you'd want it, it would become a perennial.  I know this is NOT a good answer, they might just be an annual, but you get my drift. Okay, I’m tired. The vegetable gardens needed attention. The birds had pulled out more than the occasional bean seedling. I always plant more than I’ll need. They, the birds.. robins mostly, always help themselves, some years more than others. I hoed the spaces and picked out the weeds and popped new bean seeds in between the little string bean plants. Then I prepped another row (weeds grow fast I all this wet cool weather) and sowed another half row each of spinach and lettuce. All unplanted areas not presently under black ground cloth needed weeding. After lunch, I walked down to the field to do the same with the squash and cucumber beds. Although I’m not fond of looking at the black cloth, it is invaluable controlling weeds and thus making more time for other pastimes (read that fiber related activities). Several years ago we began planting our tomatoes in beds covered with black plastic to warm the ground and give us the extra week. In doing so we also found that this kept maintenance down and we had far less wilt, mold and mildew. Pretty good benefits, so we put up with the ‘look’. Next up, the raspberries. I weeded them earlier this spring but it was time again. The runners are heading out into the walks and I want to see them before I mow them down. There is a small patch of garden that they can be moved into and there are never enough red raspberries come picking time. It seems like I’m always going to the ‘pick your own’ fields to fill the freezer. So, my fingers and hands are sore, my thumbs and fingertips split. Time now to knit, blog, and relax with a glass of wine on the deck. Sounds good, huh? Damn chilly out there now that it’s time to relax. The wind picked up, the sun went under and thank goodness the glass is full. 

What am I knitting? The sock:



And a new project (yet another one) to test some yarn I dyed and haven’t tried yet. It’s the Midwest Moonlight Scarf.


It’s The Summer of Lace, right?

lots of surprises

Surprise #1: (well not really)
I naturally slowed the car as I drove up my road last evening.  It's early summer, the babies are usually just starting to show themselves.  Sure enough, there where the culvert goes under the road, a perfect tunnel to hide and play in, were this years fox kits.  They walked into the middle of the drive to get a better look, then jumped up and scampered into the tall grass.  As I looked back in my rear view mirror, I could see them back in the road, watching me drive away.  Last year there were five. I wonder how many were playing out of sight. 

The smell of the farm in the summer is magic.  The lupine are in bloom.  So are lots of flowers, but the lupine overpower all others this time of year.  Sweet!  C had mowed the yard around the gardens before he took off Friday  and it actually looked groomed... sort of.  My gardens are wild, densely packed masses, a semi arrangement of the real hardy bloomers.  The "thugs" of the garden perennials, as  my friend Bruce refers to them.   After dinner, we took a tour, an evening walk (and blood letting... the black fly, deer fly, horse fly and mosquito are sharing us now) around the yard.

Surprise #2:  The groundhog that is "too cute" to shoot has made a huge new home in my garden, relocating ( I wish that were all) some plants and burrowing under my stone wall.  A note here... We set the Havahart trap last night.  We did not get the groundhog.

Surprise #3: C happens to mention that there are tons of BIG footprints around, ALL AROUND and he thinks that the moose have come through.  He was right about one thing.. lots of prints.  Not moose.  Looks to me like the neighbor's heifers were up for the weekend having a party of the all weekend sort.  I have yet to find a place they weren't.  Deep imprints in the lawn and field, plops everywhere.  No damage to the apple trees and no damage to the gardens.  We were really lucky this time.

Surprise #4: This is another baby surprise.  After planting the potatoes, really, really late this year... we started going through the hosta nursery to see which plants we wanted to divide.  As we started through the Krossa Regals, a tiny spotted fawn darted out and ran through the fence and into the woods.  C had forgotten to put the 6 lines of electric fence on last night.  Who knows, did Momma hide her baby inside the fence under the hosta, did baby hide itself?? small fawn...  where was Mom?

Knitting stuff..  I posted a few more colors in My Yarns.     I spent hours on the deck winding the skeins I dyed Friday and Saturday.


garden stuff..  I've added a new Photo Album.. My Gardens

Almost too much excitement for one post, huh?

to knit.. to blog.. to dye

The lack of posting the past week is directly related to the amount of work that I have accomplished during that said same period of time.  To knit or not to knit, to blog or not to blog, to knit or to blog, to dye or to knit or to blog... to work.  Ahhh... work, there it is again.  We  do the best we can.  C has been working the farm, I've been working the business and when I've got a minute, I've been dyeing.  I'll post pictures as soon as I can get the light and the time.

I began to wonder if one of the reasons that I have so many socks presently under construction might be that I just wasn't treating them with the love and respect that they apparently need.  This idea comes from reading bloggers that treat their socks to vacations, enrichment trips, dinners, and what have you and somehow DO manage to complete PAIRS of socks.  (it could be that the same sock is shown over and over again in new and exciting settings, but... maybe it's worth a try.) So, this weekend, the SOCK and I took a break and went sailing.  Proof:

P1010233  Thank goodness my friends are not too judgmental.. tho' there was talk of hanging it out from the hook on the fishing pole.  After considering this for a second (only one, I promise.. I decided that fear should not be introduced to the SOCK)

P1010234 and a closeup..


morning elixir

Despite drinking three cups (in rapid succession) of jolt juice the morning elixir, I find myself unable to clear my head, open my eyes without wanting to squint and, oh why go on... everyone has these mornings.  I'll attribute this to one to way too many late nights spent working lately and WAAAY too little knitting.  I was absolutely determined to get yarn into the dye pot before *am this morning ( just because it would get things moving around here) and post.  That said, after the third cup, while drinking the fourth (oooh, this does not bode well for the rest of the day, hope I don't meet anyone I know this morning), I dropped my new CD (see the side bar)into the changer, turned the volume up to what I could stand (not much) and got moving.  I'll insert here that after the first color in the pot, I know that the coffee did NOT do the trick.  This is the first time in years where the dye pot did not clear, not even close.  It had so much left in it that a new pot had to be brought into service.  Dye is not wasted, it's not tossed out. It is saved for the next round.. but it never happens... until this morning.  In defense, I am over dyeing a dark color and it is a new yarn that I have not dyed before.  New is fun.  hm mm...I'm starting to warm up.
The other day, while checking out a new yarn shop, I found that Bryspun has circular needles.


I love the little 5", or are they 4".. they are really short.. Bryspuns for socks.  These have the same great tips and the softest band I have ever seen.  It's a pet peeve of mine, those stiff bands that loop around trying to smack you in the face or make newly discovered geometric forms from whatever is presently on the needles.  These don't do it.  I hurried up and got the fronts of the Ribby Cardi to the point where I could put them onto the size 8 circ. I had bought, just to try it out.  NICE!   Do yourself a favor, look for them.  I don't know about the join for stuff in the small sizes, but for say 5 and up... no problem. 

ps. I've just lit a fire in the fireplace.  I've caved.  My wearing long pants, long sleeve shirt and wooly slippers.. soon with socks. All this after 98F temps only a day or so ago.

pps. To My Secret Pal.. I've put my list on the 6/1/05 post.  Just in case ;))