Knitting, spinning, pets, food and other thoughts


Murphy & Me …

Murphy is definitely alive and well in SE Missouri!

Example 1: This morning, I set my tall mug down to get some ice out of the freezer [bottom mount drawer-type freezer with the ice maker in the upper drawer – no one told me that it would throw ice cubes on the floor practically every time I open it!], then bumped the mug coming back with the ice cubes. The plus side is that the floor got an unscheduled cleaning.

Example 2: The self-propelled sickle bar mower is still out in the shop for repairs. Himself went to town for bolts yesterday, but the farm store didn’t have what he needed, so he had to order them – they’re due on the UPS truck tomorrow. Meanwhile the grass continues to grow – it’s mostly fescue and orchard grass, literally hay or pasture grasses, but it’s what grows here. Now if only he doesn’t get too swamped with other folks’ repair jobs – remember the story about the shoemaker’s children going barefoot πŸ˜‰ (Wednesday: It’s fixed – hooray!)

Thanks to Carole for coming up with Ten Minutes a Day! It may be just the nudge I need to get back to spinning – it’s been neglected for much too long. I’ve set my S-10 up, and am working on filling a 2nd bobbin with grey Border Leicester to be plied with more that’s already on the other bobbin. As an incentive, I found 16 oz of really nice 80% merino/20% tussah silk in garnet that’s been in the stash a while [Ebay purchase in 2004 – it’s still in the shipping envelope!]. It looks like it might want to be lace in some form or other. A whole pound is probably a tad much for a shawl – maybe a cardigan?

Here’s the last fleece I got – I really didn’t expect this much help getting it ready to ship to the processor.
Fleece ... the new catnip!


A wild pile of knitting needles …

I’ve been very lax lately about putting my knitting needles away when completing projects – well actually, I’ve just been stuffing them into a plastic bag.
needle-bag.jpg When I emptied the bag, it turned into this, needle-pile.jpg
so I think I’d better do a little housekeeping πŸ˜‰

My copy of SpinOff came today! What a visual feast – lots of yummy fiber (*No, the spinning stash doesn’t need more fiber either; keep repeating from * …), and plenty of interesting articles, including an article about Cormo sheep and a really cute baby jacket, both by Margaret Heathman of Margaret’s Yarns. She wrote a neat little book, Knitting Languages, published in 1996, which is really handy for knitting terms in languages other than English. She’s currently working on a second book of knitted snowflakes, which looks very interesting.

I feel like Toby’s been neglected here, but he’s really developed an aversion to the camera – every time he hears the little whirring noise it makes when it’s turned on and the lens extends, he takes off for anywhere else. It may be the flash, but he really doesn’t like that thing! I would love to get a photo one of the times when Maggie just walks up and starts grooming him, but for now, here’s this: toby-maggie_a.jpg Of course you know that’s supposed to be a dog bed, but try telling that to Maggie!

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Knit for Kids!

It’s been 12 years since Brigitte Weeks mentioned making simple sweaters for needy children in Daily Guideposts. In her devotional for today, she wrote:

I was writing full of nostalgia for my childhood in a small English village, where girls were expected to knit and sew at least competently. I never did make the grade sewing; … But I did manage knittingβ€”those wonderful soothing repetitive stitches that somehow turned into … simple sweaters for what were then called “displaced persons.”

This was the seed that has grown into Knit for Kids, which has received and distributed over 400,000 sweaters from knitters and crocheters from all over.

If you would like to help, there are free patterns at Knit for Kids–it’s a great way to use those small balls of yarn we all have in our stash!

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Not spring peepers, but a @#%& frog …

I guess it’s the knitting equivalent of a speeding ticket. I was sailing along on the red thing, (I guess it’s Silk Flowers no, it doesn’t have a name yet) and life was good … I thought, does this thing look just the least bit long? So I laid out the rest of it, patted out the current piece, carefully matching the patterns at the edges, and yep, it’s 13 rows (see the little green marker) past where I should have started the front neck shaping! oops.jpg

So with much muttering, and a little assistance from Maggie (didn’t get the camera in time to catch that, but I’m sure you can fill in the blanks), it’s now back on track, with the V-neck started, even though it’s not quite back to the underarm. I’m sure glad I caught it before there was even more to rip. πŸ˜‰

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

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The best laid plans (again!) …

All I was trying to do was put away a couple of boxes of tea on the top shelf in the pantry (it seemed like A Good Thing), when I was maliciously attacked by a tub of dog treats – freeze-dried liver, mostly down to the crumbs (somewhat stinky, which is probably why it’s such a good training treat). Of course the lid came off, and of course the remaining cubes and all the crumbs went all over and into everything within range! I certainly hadn’t planned on a major pantry clean-out any time in the very near future, but obviously that tub of treats (or something <cue Twilight Zone music>) had other plans … sigh!

Later: Still slogging away at the pantry cleanup, with 3 very interested “helpers” taking turns; they score a treat every once in a while. Also, since we live in the country, the cats catch an occasional whiff of mouse – a big reason most of stuff is in jars or other relatively mouse-resistant containers, and Amber discovered some tantalizing dangling apron ties. I’m making interesting discoveries, such as “Gee, I didn’t realize I had 2 cans of mock duck/bamboo shoots/whatever!” One positive in all this is that while I had so much stuff pulled out, I was able to thread the power cord for the hand vac up behind the shelves and mount its base on an upright, something I hadn’t been able to get the Maintenance Guy (MG) to remember to do. πŸ˜‰ It will be nice to have it done, but it’s not a good time to do it, not when I should be finishing 2 sweaters (so why am I blogging …).

On a more positive note, we went to St. Louis yesterday and had a good German lunch at the Bevo Mill. I had sauerbraten with an extra potato pancake (yum!), Himself had the schnitzel of the day (pork with jaeger or hunter’s sauce – ie. tomato-based), and we each had apfel strudel for dessert, served with a killer raspberry sauce. I’m not sure how authentic the raspberry sauce is, but it would almost make cardboard taste good – can you tell I love almost anything raspberry <grin>. Next time, we’re planning to try the brunch!

After lunch, we took off in search of Knitorious, a yarn shop my friend Kate had been telling me I should visit. She was right! It’s a great place for a Stash Enhancement eXpedition, with a great array of yarns, and conveniently close to one of our favorite stops, Ted Drewes Frozen Custard. I enjoyed meeting the owner, Sandy, and Ann of Annie Knits; Sandy’s husband was there, so Himself had someone to talk to while I was looking at yarn. Naturally a little bit followed me home – a pair of socks for him, some yummy Malabrigo Lace (100% baby merino) for me, and another size 6 circular, as I never seem to have enough of that size lately.


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Food, Fiber and Friends, oh my!

The Ozarks Foothills Spinners <and others> had our annual “Beat the Winter Blahs” get-together today, and for once, the weather cooperated. It was windy and a little chilly, but considering that a couple of years ago most of us chickened out because of winter yuck, this wasn’t so bad.

We had lots of food [this is only one end of the table!], plenty of fiber, and lots of visiting and catching up. Some stash changed hands, we had loads of door prizes [more stuff changing hands ;o) ] and a good time was had by all.



I am truly thankful for this group of amazing friends, many of whom I’ve known for more years than I want to think about. The lone man, who is a retired teacher and a weaver, taught me to spin over 30 years ago, and he’s inspired a number of others as well. We have knitters, crocheters, a couple of basketweavers, and one gal who does bobbin lace – a talented and wonderful group of friends.


What is Stash?

What does stash mean to you? I usually think of stash in terms of yarn, spinning fiber or fabric – all fiber-ish things. Can it also apply to books or tea or other things as well?

Stash can either be what you store away for future use, or where you put it. One entry gives the origin as “1797, criminals’ slang … perhaps a blend of stow and cache.” I certainly have a lot of yarn stored/hidden/stashed under the bed in our daughters’ old room, though it’s more a matter of finding space to put it than actually hiding it.

The Classic Silk yarn finally decided to cooperate, and it’s moving along nicely at about 4 1/2 sts/inch, but once I got it into different light, it’s strawberry, not raspberry! Ah well … onward!

Silk yarn in openwork pattern