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April 2006

what I did on my birthday..


I wanted to make this a click on the red ball and see the next picture, but I couldn't quite remember how it is done and I have to get moving this morning.  I'm making a Birthday Weekend out of this.  C and I are heading over to The CT Sheep & Wool to hang out, visit, eat.  Sunday, if the weather is what is promised, I'm walking on the beach.

Oh yeah.. here's the next picture.  I read, knit, had lunch and bird watched on a beautiful sunny day, all afternoon. 


And since it WAS Friday, off we went.  Who knew, my Friday for Fish at the Diner friends made me a party.  We had tequila, and champaign and cake with candles, and the  What else.  After a winter of friends scattered around, we were all together again.  What could be better than that?


The last Ice picture taken for the season.  (Let us hope.)  Inspiration.


If the darn Hummingbirds would just stay long enough to pose.... you'd have seen the "H".


more stuff

A few things:

  • As Saturday progressed, being outdoors became less and less inviting.  That headache signaled the cooler temps and rain to come.  Best thing for me to do was to curl up in my chair and read.  I finished The Conjurer's Bird Saturday evening.  I recommend it. Great read. Fun, too.
  • String Bean, Crash Test Dummies, had this video linked to her blog.  I saw it, it caught me, and if you have the time, it might catch you too.  You might want to keep your knitting at hand when you click on this.  A word of warning, it is quite long.  Do not attempt this on dail-up.
  • I took the sock out of the bag Friday, didn't want to haul the Vine Lace around with me, and good thing.  I was able to knit on it in the car the past couple days  and now have it as a handy excuse for why I haven't seamed up the Vine Lace.  That's next up.
  • Make sure you read Lynne's comment on the penguin sweaters.  She know what she's talking about.  This is old news for her.  Well, just old news, actually. 
  • Umm... then there was this:


  The latest low-technology billboards along highways in the Netherlands are startling enough to prompt motorists to indulge in U-turns.     

Or make that ewe-turns. These ads are walking, woolly flocks of bleating sheep. Early this month,, a Dutch online reservations company, began displaying its corporate logo on royal blue waterproof blankets worn by sheep.

The company spends 1 euro, or about $1.23 a day, per sheep and sponsors about 144 sheep in flocks throughout the Netherlands. But commercially branded sheep roaming the bucolic meadows of the northern Netherlands have prompted a reaction.

On Saturday, the town of Skarsterlan began fining 1,000 euros a day for putting branded blankets on sheep. Advertising on livestock violates the town's ban on advertising along the highways.

Read the whole article from the NY Times. 

fibery weekend, almost

If I were still looking for an F, I could have used Fun Fiber Friday with Friends.   What can I say, it was great.  Thank goodness we were able to visit before Steph's talk.  The shop was very small and packed solid.  From where I stood, in the back of the store, it was easier to knit and visit than to hear (or see, for that matter) what Stephanie said.  But, there was the *before*, and the *after*.  It was all fun.  Check out Carol's blog entry for details.  She does it better than I can, and she remembers everyone's names!  I'm doing better, just don't quiz me.  I will tell you that I did have a great time with Amy Sue, Carol, Cate, Cindy, Claudia, Jackie, Kellee, Kat, Kate, Kristen, Laurie, Linda, Marsye, Monica (go check out her handspun toe-up sock), Stitchy, Therese, Wendy, and Dale.  I can not link to all and get through my day.  Saturday morning when I woke with a barometric / seasonal sinus headache, I first thought to blame it on the superb top shelf margaritas of the night before.  Is it the blogggers drink of choice?  Mine, certainly.  If we could only get a margarita vendor at the fairs, hmmmmm...


Saturday's mail brought me this from Isel, my Project Spectrum Postcard Pal.  Great job, it is beautiful, Isel.  Thanks.  You should recieve yours today.

Using up the ends...

Penguinsweaters_150_1 from the Australian Associated Press:

A worldwide army of little old ladies has found some far more appreciative recipients than grandchildren for their handknitted woollen jumpers.

Their loving efforts to help sick little penguins off the southern coast of Australia have given new meaning to the term penguin suit.

About 26,000 little, or fairy, penguins - which at up to 33cm tall are the world's smallest penguin species - make their home on and around Philip Island Nature Park, a major tourist attraction about 80km south-east of Melbourne.

Each evening at sunset, up to 2,000 penguins swim ashore at Summerland Beach and waddle up to their sand-dune burrows, delighting more than half a million visitors each year.

But every month, nature park volunteers find one or two penguins covered in oil.

And occasionally a major spill leaves hundreds in peril.

A German shipping company was last year fined more than $1 million for a 2003 spill at Philip Island that covered 12km of the coast, coating 24 penguins and killing three.

It was the latest of about half a dozen significant spills to have plagued the area in the last decade, including one in December 2001 that coated 360 penguins and another in 2000 that affected more than 200 and killed 12.

It's at these times that the grey army's knitting skills come in handy.

Usually the little penguins' dark blue waterproof feathers keep their skin absolutely dry and able to cope with the bitterly cold water of Bass Strait.

But the oil - as well as its removal process - interferes with their natural insulation, and the penguins, who swim straight to shore after encountering a spill, are usually cold, hungry and highly distressed when they are found, program coordinator Lyn Blom said.

Despite the volunteers' best efforts, until a few years ago casualties were high.

But that changed in 1999 when the nature park put out a call for knitters to turn their attention from snowflake sweaters and tea cozies to penguin jumpers.

The doll size, tight-fitting 100 per cent wool sweaters keep the penguins warm during the rehabilitation process and stop them preening and ingesting the poisonous oil, and lifts their survival rate to about 98 per cent.

Getting the jumpers on can be a struggle as the one kilogram animals are more feisty than they look, Ms Blom said.

"They look small and cute, but they have small person syndrome and they can be nasty," she said.

"They peck and they fight. You have to be pretty strong to survive in the ocean, they have to be pretty savvy and look after themselves and they do."

Distressed penguins might not care about the latest vogue colours, but that doesn't stop Ms Blom's troop of committed volunteers - mostly ladies in their "autumn years" with plenty of spare time - letting their creativity swim free.

The knitters continually push the fashion envelope with matching bride and groom outfits, AFL teams, and, from one elderly English woman, "the whole Manchester United soccer team".

Read the article here.  This article may have already made its way around the blog-o-verse.  If so, I missed it.  Just in case you did too, I loved it.


Plaza_sweater_from_rowan_classic_cafe_3 Question:   Have any of you knit this jacket?  I've had this picture in a knitting file on the computer for months.  Lots of months.  It has passed the test of time. I still like it.  I haven't tried to find the pattern so I don't know if I like the rest of the jacket or just the teaser in the photo. I'll finish the last piece of the Vine Lace Cardi tonight.  With luck, and some free time this weekend I'll get it sewn up and the neckband knitted.  Earllier this week, I entertained thoughts of how nice it would be to wear it Friday when I met knitter / blogger friends at a Harlot book signing.   Oh well.  It wasn't that kind of week.  There will be plenty of opportunities coming up.  This is, afterall, the start of the fiber fair season.  Check out my side bar.  I'll be listing those in the NE part of the country.  This Saturday, though not a fair, could turn out to be mighty fiberly.  A neighbor is shearing Saturday.  Next weekend is CT Sheep and Wool, followed by Maryland the week after and then New Hampshire the weekend after that.  Enough to wear out even the most ardent fiber fiend.  Fun!  Then, if you can muster enough strength and have anything left in your budget, Estes is right around the corner.  Sorry folks on the West Coast.  I know you have your schedules too, I just don't know about them.  My problem, as I look around, is too much of everything already waiting.  I still have freaking Bess, all nine lbs of her!  If only the spring fairs had Rhinebecks food (chocolate).

Just wanted to show you how quickly my broccoli and lettuce seedlings have sprouted. I planted these last weekend.  Sam has tended them since.


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I'd have my "H" if the darn Hummers would just show.

Oh, Isel..?  It's finished.  Is it fair to send a postcard in an envelope?

begin the week

Warm, cool, cloudy, sunny, you name it.  Nature gave us a bit of everything springlike.  If you didn't like it, wait a minute.  I ran around doing errands, Zak tried to decide, Bu took matters into her own paws, and Sammy.. he's just a delight.  Sam caught his first snake.  He doesn't kill things intentionally, sometimes they die, probably out of fright.   Not so, the snake.  Sam hurried inside, through his cat door, with his new friend.  We found it later in the sun by the sliding door, looking for a way out. 






and I found the perfect buttons!


Restful doesn't necessarily mean sitting around.  I spent the weekend trying to regroup.  That included 7-8 hours of continuous sleep on two consecutive nights.  Days were filled with things that needed to get done and things I wanted to do.  I walked three miles each day.  I hung out loads of laundry.  I decided that I could not live in a community that didn't allow a clothesline.  (Side note: with fuel costs where they are, and energy savings almost a moral must, how can using a dryer be better?)  Flats of veggie seeds were planted. My season starts later than most areas, it might still  be a tad early to start them.  I did fibery things.  I'm way behind on my dyeing.  Saturday was glorious, and warm.  I set my skein winder up outside and spent most of the afternoon tying skeins, getting ready.  I scrubbed my dye pot.  I carded more "Bess'.  In the morning I spun with my coffee.  Sunday I cooked a dinner that C and I had talked about all week.  As this is a blog that deals with sheepy things, we won't talk too much about what the dinner was comprised of, but let me tell you, the mint and basil pesto was outrageous!  So was the ricotta pie.  Saturday the bumble bees returned, awoke, whatever.  Sunday, the PJM rhodys bloomed.  The Jasmine are in full flower, their scent nearly overpowering.  The hibiscus is on the deck, at least for now.  Night sounds include the peepers, I wake to bird song.  The woodpeckers have been calling.  Balance is returning.


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