Knitting, spinning, pets, food and other thoughts


Merry Christmas!

Spending the holidays with family … priceless! See you in the New Year.

Images from Cool Holiday Graphics


Slick and cold

We had freezing rain/ice a couple of days ago, and some of it is still with us. The rock is a good example of what we got. The worst part was the front porch, some of which is still icy. I was glad to have my YakTrax, which really helped, but I need to find a pair to fit Toby too. When we went out, he hit the porch too fast and his feet went every-which way, though he didn’t actually fall. I think we need to work on a cue for slow down!

We got the wreath up over the door, and finally got a cord for it, so I think it’s looking pretty festive.


A little progress

I’ve finished the back and gotten some done on the front of my gansey, but life keeps interfering with my knitting — anyone else have that problem? Maggie decided she needed to help out when I laid it down to take some photos 😉

One of the laundry hampers was left sitting around the other day, and it was almost immediately appropriated.


Small …

but deadly—at least if you happen to be a small bird. This little hawk – I’m fairly sure it was a sharp-shinned hawk (about blue jay sized) – was hanging out in a bush a couple of mornings ago, acting as if the bird feeders were his personal buffet.

I snapped a couple of photos from inside, then when walking out on the deck and making noise had no effect, I decided to see just how close I could get before he’d take off. I walked very slowly across the yard (out in the open, no cover at all) and must have been 6-8 feet from him before he flew away.


Clicking along

Once I got the details figured out, the new gansey is coming along nicely. I decided to take a chance on the new “trees” I charted (without swatching them – gasp!) and got away with it – I like their shape much better than the first version. The first skein of Cascade 220 went for 11½”, so I’m feeling a lot more comfortable about the amount of yarn I have.

I love, love, love heavily cabled knits, but my wrist, not so much. I’m hoping that textured patterns like this, highlighted with just a few cables will enable me to keep on knittin’ …


Nuthatches, cardinals and stitches, oh my!

I think I may have finally hit on a squirrel-resistant (dare I think squirrel-proof?) place to hang the bird feeders 🙂 I almost never hang laundry there any more (I hang it on the deck instead) so when I was looking for a new location for them, I decided to give it a try, and it appears that the critters may not be able to climb that pole, at least I’m hoping that’s the case!

In addition to the usual cardinals, titmice, chickadees, juncos, etc., this year the white-breasted nuthatch has been joined by a couple of the less common (at least around here) red-breasted nuthatches, which are smaller … and very cute. They’re all giving the seed supply a real workout.

I picked up some Cascade 220 Heather this summer; it’s finally been whispering to me and after some swatching, I’ve started a gansey-type sweater. The color is #9410 (color is way off in the photo!). Of course I’ve already tinkered with the cables (6 sts x 8 rows instead of 4×4) and one pattern that’s supposed to be a tree, but looked more like a lop-sided diamond, so I hope the new version will be more tree-like, or I’ll be doing some serious ripping (127 sts). The delights of designing on the fly!


Still cooking …

as if there weren’t enough cooking leading up to Thanksgiving, I’m still at it. I guess it’s the name, but monkey bread had always intrigued me, so I fixed a batch for the Women’s Circle meeting the other day. After that, and the group that decorated the church for Christmas, I didn’t come home with too much of it left (just as well!). I combined the dough recipe from King Arthur Flour with the topping, prep method and glaze from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe and was quite pleased with the result. Think I’ll make it again the next time the kids come 🙂

That 22 lb. turkey I fixed? Soup is about all that’s left of it – we got our usual fresh turkey from a vendor at Soulard Market in St. Louis, and it was about the best we’ve ever had!