Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bon Voyage

I have to show you more pictures of the snow that has fallen in the past few days. This is the first time in a number of years that we have had a "white" Christmas and the snow is still staying around. We even had a bit more snow today and then the wind started to kick in. I learned how to use the snow blower today. If this keeps up I will be using it a lot.

We held a Bon Voyage party for ES tonight. Only five more days until he is on the road to Washington DC. We are praying that he will not have yucky roads on this trip. Last February, when he and I drove to Chicago, the weather kept saying it was bad, but we had pretty clear roads once we left the West Yellowstone area. I am hoping it will be the same this year.

I was antsy tonight while waiting for people to show up for ES's party, so I was able to get some spinning done. That always seems to calm me down. I only have two more little balls to spin and then onto the plying. I've only had this fiber in my stash since 1996. It will be nice to get one more fiber spun and used.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

One boy loves his hat

Just a quick post to let you know I knit another pair of fingerless mitts for ES's step-mom, who will be here today while I am at work. I didn't think to get a picture until after I had wrapped them. Maybe ES will get a picture of her modeling them when she opens them.

I stopped at one of my Nursery kids house last night. His older sister says he loves his hat. His mom said that he put it on at lunch on Christmas and left it on the rest of the day. It is also the first thing he grabs when he knows its time to go outside. Boy if that doesn't make my day! I could make more with that kind of response.

I was reading Norma's post this morning and it has made me want to get more in shape. I have decided that this year I will find a bit of time to take a daily walk. At least that much to start with. If I write it here I might be more willing to do my walk.

Last night I bound off the body of the Mr Greenjeans sweater. Now onto the sleeves, but that may not be until next week. Tonight is a dinner for ES from his co-workers at the site, telling him good-bye. Tomorrow is dinner here for a group of friends which we have been meaning to do for four years. And Saturday night is a come and say good-bye for our neighborhood, church, and family friends. ES leaves one week from today!

Happy knitting & spinning.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

White Christmas

It had been a number of years since we have had a white Christmas. Thanks to the snow we had on Monday, this is what we woke up to on Christmas morning. On Monday all the kids that were here went to Freeman park and snowboarded down the little hill there. They had lots of fun and were completely soaked.

Monday night when we did our traditional drive around look at Christmas lights, the roads were pretty slick and slushy. They don't have regular snow plows here. They use graters and push the snow to the center of the street and then come around with some sort of vehicle that picks up the snow and puts it in a dump truck. The lights were pretty and well worth the hour and a half we spent looking at them.
This is the mess that was in the sun-room after everyone was done opening presents. I didn't get pictures of everyone and their "hauls", but I don't think anyone was disappointed. Everyone liked their fingerless mitts, thank goodness. There were a few complaints because the traditional pj pants weren't in the packages. I just wasn't up to sewing them this year. It was the first time in 17 years that I didn't make pjs. There was also one complaint about not getting a hat. As I told J-g, it wasn't on her list, but I could still make her one. I have all the materials to do so.
As you can tell by the expression on E's face. Christmas went over very well. I always feel such relief when everything has been wrapped and given. Now onto other projects. More fingerless mitts to start with. ES's dad and step-mom are coming tomorrow and I need to finish her mitts. Then finish Mr. Greenjeans, only one more repeat on the body and then onto the sleeves. Plus two or three baby sweaters before the end of January, thank goodness they go quickly. So many projects to look forward to in the new year.

Happy knitting & spinning.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Mitts for Christmas are done

The last pair to be gifted have just been washed and set to dry. That makes eleven pair as Christmas gifts. I have a few more pair I would like to make to give away, but I am not stressing them for about a month. I figure as long as I get them to them before winter is over I'm doing okay.

The boys were watching the college bowl games with me, as I finished the last pair of mitts. They didn't last too long! They have both been asleep for about an hour and a half.

The Christmas tree is lit. The presents are all purchased and wrapped. ES is doing the Christmas dinner shopping for us. So things are just about ready here. This will be our last Christmas in this house and I will enjoy the season here as I have the past few years. We will have six of the children here and phone calls from the other two.

R and C are already complaining about having to wait until A-b gets here to open gifts. They will get to open the stuff from their dad and step-mom without waiting for A-b, so that will have to last them until about 2 pm Christmas day. Oh the joys of having a blended family!

I am ready to move on in my knitting. Some UFOs need to be finished and it's only two weeks until the next sock class. I also want to make a couple of baby sweaters for friends with new babies. Oh, so many projects in mind. Well, off to see if I can get more done tonight.

Happy knitting & spinning.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Cactus

I have to show you all a picture of my Christmas cactus which is actually blooming at Christmas. I got a start of this cactus about 14 years ago from the wonderful woman who watched the two younger boys while I worked. It was actually a start from her Grandmother. This is the first year in that 14 years that it has bloomed. Last year there were a few blooms on it, but the kids and dog knocked the blooms off before they had a chance to blossom. This year just look at it! There are many blossoms and still lots of buds to open up. I like my other Christmas cactus's, but this one has a special meaning and to think that this year it is actually celebrating with us.

There is not much in the way of knitting. The tenth pair of fingerless mitts is done and ready to be wrapped. I only have one more pair to actually get done before Christmas and that pair is started. I am hoping to get them done before the weekend is over. I will do a few more pair after Christmas to give to special people, but I have told them I am not stressing it before Christmas.

ES officially gave his notice at the site. His last day will be January 3rd and then off to DC. His first day there is January 7th. The move is really happening and there is s-o-o-o much to accomplish in the next few months. ES has said that if he knew how fun it was to tell everyone he was leaving, he would have done it a lot sooner. Next Thursday they are planning a going away get together for him. I hope I get to attend, that's my late night to work. It will be quite an adjustment to not have ES right here with us, but we are strong and we will survive!

Happy knitting & spinning.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Blending fun for Christmas exchange

This past weekend was our family's traditional Cousin's Christmas party. My siblings who live close get together and play games, eat lots of food, and exchange gifts between our children, hence cousin's Christmas. The cousins that live further away are also included in the gift exchange. They just don't get the chance to hang out and play games with us on that day.

This past weekend was also the weekend of the spinner's Christmas exchange. For the exchange this year, I dyed some of the "skirts" from Notlwonk . I had five piles of fiber spread out across the couch. Each pile had the three colors of wool, the alpaca, and the dyed purple silk. I carded the green wool by itself, with the yellow wool I added the alpaca, and with the purple wool I added the silk.

In the picture of the colors next to each other, you can see the silk (it's the really wavy stuff in the purple on the far left).

I really like how the blend turned out. Lou, who was my exchange partner, also liked it and said she was going to make something for just her out of it. I have enough of the materials left that I can spin some myself and make something also. I think it will be my next project, when I have a free wheel.

This is a picture of the completed mitts. I have nine completed pair, one single mitt, and one & a half pair still left to knit. I needed to take this picture though so I could send away the two black pair in the center. I can't believe Christmas is only eight days away! There is still s-o-o-o-o much to do.

Happy knitting & spinning.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Happy Birthday E

Not a lot of knitting was completed yesterday evening as there were many things going on. After work C had a Christmas choir concert to start the night off. That went for about an hour. This is only about half the choir as the other half was behind the audience for the first song. I was able to knit the cuff and up to the thumb of the second pink fingerless mitt. I couldn't go further on the mitt at the concert, because there was not enough light.

After the concert, ES and I took E and his girlfriend to dinner at Chuck-a-Rama. Then back home for birthday cake. It was 22 years ago yesterday that he entered this world. It's hard to believe that that much time has passed. It seems like just a couple of years ago that I was chasing after a toddler, attending grade school plays and field trips, breaking up fights between the brothers, and generally feeling exhausted trying to keep up with him. I am proud of the young man he has become and is striving to still become. (He still makes me tired!)

This morning I was able to attend the knitting group at the LYS. While there I finished the pink mitts. I was only there for about half an hour, but it was fun to catch up with all the ladies there. I don't get to attend as frequently as I would like to. Something with having to make a living gets in the way. I like my job, don't get me wrong. But I like knitting more.

Tomorrow R gets his wisdom teeth out. I don't know how good of a patient he will be for the next couple of days. Usually, he just wants to sleep when he's not feeling well. It will be interesting to see how he reacts to this his first surgery. While he is in getting his teeth pulled, I will have some time to work on the ninth pair of fingerless mitts. Only two more pair to go, for sure. But who knows if another pair doesn't get added before it's all said and done.

Happy knitting & spinning!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Trying to De-Stress (or Tired of Drama)

It has been such a "zoo" around the house this past weekend. It has also been very stress-filled. I even had to "make" time to sit down at the spinning wheel and take some time to spin. I needed the calming effect that the wheel and spinning give me. Sometimes I get really tired of the drama that is going on around our house right now with moving and a wedding. ES has told a number of people that he couldn't have picked a better time to leave. A wedding the end of December, maybe. M coming home in April. J-b coming home in May. R graduating in May and A-b's 12th birthday in May also. There's no stress here! Ya right!!

Okay, enough of the rant. Onto some knitting stuff. This is the latest pair of fingerless mitts. The yarn in this pair is some I spun about four years ago for a vest for C. He wanted something pink. He has even worn the vest a number of times. Which is good even if he does get teased when wearing it, because it is pink.

This is the eighth pair of fingerless mitts in the past two months. I might get them all done by Christmas. What do you think? Can I do it?

Happy knitting & spinning!

Friday, December 7, 2007


Remember these fingerless mitts from the previous post? Well after doing some rip, rip, ripping they are now the ones below. I had cast on 36 sts on the first pair and when I got about three inches into the mitt I tried them on and felt they would be too big, even for "man" size. I ripped them out and redid them with a 30 st cast on. They fit snugger and much better now, even for a "man" size.

The mitts that were missing the thumbs, in the last post, now have thumbs. I still need to weave in the ends though. They feel really good when I put them on and I wouldn't be opposed to keeping them, if it wasn't Christmas knitting.

I did some dying the past week. I am excited to show you the results, but it will have to wait for a week or so.

Happy knitting and spinning!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


As promised, here are the pictures of some of the prints ES and I purchased last weekend at the art show. These prints are all done by my friend Linda Wolfe.

I am always drawn to her prints and have a number of them throughout my house. I bought more this year than I usually do, because it was the last show I will be able to attend before our family makes the "big move".

This print of the "Tree of Life" is one of Linda's new ones. I am always impressed by the ideas she has and what she is able to put into pictures. She is a very talented lady! Thanks Linda for the enjoyment you have brought into my life.

On the knitting front, I am still working on all the fingerless mitts. The multi-colored pair is just missing the thumbs and weaving in the ends. That shouldn't take too long. It's just a matter of doing it!

This brown pair is the pair that I am working on in the car. Waiting for kids or during lunch hours. Hopefully, I will be done with these by Friday. There are still quite a few to get done, but I am cruising right along. I am using up a lot of stash fiber which is really good. It has been fun to go through the bins and see what I have that will work for the mitts. I am finding all kinds of samples and left overs which are working great.

Happy knitting and spinning!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Saturday's Sock Class

Saturday's sock class was the knitting of a Christmas stocking. The amount that is shown knitted here is from the class. It is a fairly fast knit and was really easy. I used the needle size recommended and ended up n-o-t getting gauge. What else is new? I should have gone down about two needle sizes, but thought I would try it anyway and see what I ended up with. It is about 10 inches across right now. The example is 8 inches across. I think I may stick it in the washing machine just to "full" it a little bit.

It was really quite hard to knit with the size 13 needles. My hands don't like to hold onto that big of a needle for very long. The two hours of the class was about all my hands could do for yesterday. I am more comfortable with a size 8 or smaller.

These are the fingerless mitts from the Galway. I did get two pairs out of 210 yards. The tails that are on the mitts, before weaving in the ends, is all of the yarn that is left from the skein. All together there is probably 18 inches left. The pair on the bottom is about an inch shorter than the one on the top and the thumb is about three rows shorter. I think they will still accomplish the intended purpose though.

Yesterday ES and I attended an art show of one of our friends. I will get pictures taken today or tomorrow and show you what we purchased. After the art show, we went to dinner at the Red Lobster in Pocatello. It is the first time we have been there in about a year and a half. It was fun to spend some time with ES, before he leaves for his new job in a month, that was not all about the move or getting ready for the move.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Sock class Saturday

I forgot to mention yesterday, this weekend is my monthly sock knitting class. This month we are working on a Christmas stocking. It is knit with a really bulky yarn or two Lamb's Pride bulky held together. They are also knit on size 13 or 15 needles. Because my hands tend to "hurt" faster when working with that size needle, I don't knit with it very often. We'll see how long it takes me to get this stocking done.

I haven't finished last month's socks yet. I put them down to work on some Christmas knitting. I imagine when I am done with obligated knitting, I will have them done fairly quickly.

Speaking of Christmas knitting, the second fingerless mitt from yesterdays post is past the thumb and heading rapidly towards the knuckles. Almost done! Just have to do the thumbs now.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Next Projects

Now that the hats are completed, I have moved on to knitting fingerless mitts. The kids don't like mittens, but I think they will like these. They work really well for driving and all but the two youngest are drivers. I made a pair last year and I really like them. This pair is out of Galway in black. The black is a little hard to work with in a dark room, but is coming along quickly. I have one mitt part done, just have to knit the thumb. I think I will knit the second mitt before doing either thumb. I would like to get two pair out of the one skein. The Galway has 210 yds in it so I will have to see.

I am going to use some of my handspun for the next few pairs. This means I will have to do some washing and winding. Some of the handspun has been sitting in bins for quite awhile. But I think this will be a good way to use some of those skeins that there isn't enough to do any one large project or even enough for accents in a larger project.

Happy knitting & spinning.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Completed Hats

I thought I only had twelve hats to finish. This was when I thought I was done. Two weeks ago we got three new kids in Nursery. That made my total 15. Yesterday I recounted and recounted. I needed 16 hats for Christmas.

Well, they are mostly done. I give you eight girl hats.

And eight boy hats. The blue one in the lower right is at the point where the decreases are halfway done. ES says he could tell I was getting tired of doing them, because I had gone to solid color hats, no stripes or designs.

I have also been doing some spinning. I am now plying the white I spun. I have three and a half bobbins of it. I have also been washing a batch or two of raw fleeces every other day or so. I am working on a brown fleece which I hope turns out pretty good.

Happy knitting & spinning.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Spinning Accomplished

Remember the twelve hats I have been making for my Nursery kids? Well, we had three new kids last week so my total is now 15 hats. I am about three inches into #14. I should be done with all of them by the end of this weekend and then I can move onto Christmas knitting. I thought I had a picture of the completed hats on my camera, but I cannot find it so you will get pictures next time.

I have also been busy spinning. This past week I have spun five and a half bobbins of this champagne color, I have plied all the bobbins, and have spun two and a half bobbins of white. I don't have very much of the white left to spin and then it will be onto the dark brown. I have started looking for a pattern to use, haven't found one yet. I know about what I want and maybe I will have to improvise. To spin while on the computer has been very advantageous to me in the amount I have increased my spinning. Thankfully, the Hitchiker makes it all possible, because of it's ability to fit under the computer desk.

Today I have to work so will not get much done until tonight. Happy knitting & spinning.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Although I give thanks daily for all I have, this is the one specific day of the year that is really devoted to thanksgiving. To that end I give you the things I'm thankful for:

Family. We are a combined group of his and hers in kids. We are thankful that they mostly get along. There have been some subtractions and additions since this picture was taken, but it is the most current on the computer right now. This was taken in 2004.

Family. Extended. Both ES's and mine. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. I'm thankful for them all. We have no living grandparents, but we are thankful for them also.

Friends. I have lots of fiber friends, work friends, family friends, and church friends. I am thankful for them all.

Work. I love my job and enjoy most of the associations I have made through there.

Spinning & Knitting. They have given me such an outlet for the expression of my inner self. They have also been, especially spinning, my relaxation technique when going through some trials in my life. There's nothing like having a hard time and being able to sit at the wheel and work through those frustrating, mind numbing feelings until I'm calm and relaxed and know in which direction I need to go.

This blog. It has given me a outlet to share my interests which I have a passion for.

I hope you get the chance today to reflect on what you're thankful for. Enjoy!

Happy knitting & spinning.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Saturday Guild Fun

This past weekend was spent with fiber, friends, food and fun. The guild met at Marie's on Saturday. There was lots of spinning by Catherine and Sharon.

Still more spinning by Heather and Marie. (Don't you just love Marie's purple moose dress?)

There was knitting by Diane and Bonnie. Did you check out Bonnie's hand knit socks. They look really good. There were also the knitters: Becky, Eldri, Elizabeth, Joan, and Valerie. I ended up not getting good pictures of them.

I did get a great picture of Elizabeth being kissed by one on the dogs. I can't remember which one he was.

I was able to get three bobbins of Notlwonk roving in a champagne color spun at the guild meeting. Saturday night I went home and finished spinning that bump. I ended up with five and a half bobbins that I am now Navajo plying. I am now spinning some of Knowlton's white roving and then I plan on the dark brown I have from them. I have a plan to make a sweater. It is in the design phase in my head. I'm pretty sure it will be worked from the top down, but haven't worked it all out yet.

I got all the "skirtings" from the spring "wool-trek" washed. I am planning a dye experiment with them. I am excited to see how that will turn out. So much to do and never enough time in the day.

Happy knitting & spinning!

Friday, November 16, 2007

I have seven hats done. I am working on the eighth hat and have four more to go. The one I am working on now is pink with green stripes. I should have C try on these hats and see if they fit him. If they do, they will fit the kids in the class.

Last night I worked on my toe-up Railroad Rib sock. I got the heel turned and I am ready to knit up the cuff. I hope I remember how I did this sock when I get to the second sock! I did take some notes, but I'm not sure they are enough.

Meg brought us surprises to the Driggs retreat. She brought some wonderful yarn that we were able to chose from. The blue is Alpaca with a Twist. I had just seen a pattern not long ago that I liked that used this yarn. I had never seen it before and wondered what it was like. The green is Keltic by Berroco. There is enough that I am going to do some fingerless mitts and I think a beanie for one of the kids, as in children not nursery kids, for Christmas. I really love the colors in both skeins.

Here is my stash from Mountain Knits Yarn in Driggs. There seems to be a reoccurring color in all the new fiber. I wonder why? The green/blue combination on the top left and the green/pink right underneath are both Fleece Artist. I had never seen this yarn either, but hear of it in other blogs. It will be fun to use these two skeins. The green/pink/blue at the left bottom is some Lorna's Lace in the Somerset color-way. I bought some Lorna's Lace last year in Driggs and haven't used it yet. This one will probably sit in the stash for a while also before getting used. The green on the right top is some Noro in a cotton/silk combination. I have about 400 yards of this. The red/golds/browns on the bottom right is some Mountain Colors in the Gold Rush color. I r-e-a-l-l-y like this color. You all know I'm a "fall" person though. Right?

Well, that takes care of the Driggs weekend. This Saturday, as in tomorrow, is the Spinners in Pocatello. I get to have two fiber weekends in a row. Yeepee!

Happy knitting& spinning.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Lots of Spinning Done

So, I told you, I got a lot of spinning done at the Driggs retreat. I plied the reddish-pink. This is the stuff I dyed with the Tropical punch kool-aid. It has a lot of variations in the color and I think it turned out really well.

I still have one full bobbin and two partial bobbins to ply of the Tropical punch and then I will count how many yards of this I have to work with.

This yarn was spun and plied on Saturday. It went really fast. This skein was dyed with Easter egg dyes and was really fun to spin. I ended up with 173 yards. I haven't decided what to do with it yet, but it will be bright and colorful.

The purple is fiber I picked up at the Great Basin Fiber Fair. I got it from the Rumpelstiltskin's booth. I spun most of this up while waiting for Meg to finish knitting the cotton boys hat. I finished spinning it Sunday morning before heading home. I plied it last night while reading some blogs.

It was fun to see how much spinning I could get done. I even did some knitting while there. I was working on the hats for the Nursery kids and I did get one hat done while in Driggs. Maybe I can get the rest of the Tropical punch plied tonight, along with getting some laundry done.

Tomorrow or Friday maybe I can get some good pictures of the fiber I bought at the yarn store in Driggs.

Happy knitting & spinning.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Thanks Phyllis

We had a very good time at Phyllis'. We spent Friday night, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning talking, knitting, spinning, reading, shopping, and occasionally sleeping.

This is the view of the Tetons Saturday morning as the sun was coming up. I missed the color by just a few moments.

This picture of the Tetons was taken just a few hours later before the clouds moved in. In the afternoon you couldn't see them. Then Saturday night it snowed, so I didn't get a picture Sunday morning. They were covered in clouds.

This is Lyn and Phyllis talking Saturday morning. They were up early. Like before 6 am!

Lyn is showing off her new fashion accessory. It is a skien she bought while at the yarn store in Driggs. It has silk and mohair and Lyn just wants to "pet" and admire it for a while before deciding to use it in a project.

This is Meg. She is finishing up a baby boys hat before bed Saturday night. She had already done a girls hat and wanted this one completed also. She is using some cotton yarn she picked up during our shopping trip to the yarn store, bead store and book store.

This is a group photo before we all left Sunday morning. Meg is missing from this picture, because she took the picture. Thanks to all who attended. They are memories I will treasure for a long, long time.

Tomorrow I'll show my haul from the yarn store and what I accomplished while in Driggs.

Happy knitting & spinning.