Thursday, March 29, 2012

It Is Kickin' My Butt!

This seemingly innocent-looking springtime mitt has been the source of a lot of gall for me this week! I started them over a week ago. I frogged the first two inches on them 3 times. I don't know why, but I couldn't read the pattern right. My lace stithes didn't turn out anything like the pattern the first time. The second time, I kept ending up with more stitches than the pattern called for. Twice. I can usually read a pattern and see how it works out in stitches in my head. Not this one! A few nights ago, when I was halfway through the thumb, I had extra stitches again. I went back through the previous row, stitch by stitch, and couldn't find my mistake. I was so frustrated with myself, I put in down, came into the house and had my favorite snack: sugar free cook and serve vanilla pudding with strawberries in it. And Cool Whip on top. I needed to come down off the ledge I was knitting on. I got the pattern off Ravelry, so I went there to see  how many projects were made from this pattern and see if anyone else had a problem with it at
'line 35'. Nope. It was only me which means I made a mistake somewhere. I counted the stitch pattern again to no avail and decided to make a note of it on the pattern and live with my mistake. I hope that I don't regret this decision later. The mitts are for me so who will know?? This pattern has humbled me by kicking my butt but I hope that later when I finish the thumb that is doesn't also take off a big chunk of my butt off as well.

I am starting on the second mitt. In between washing fleeces for Waterloo's Sheep Festival which is coming up in a few weeks. I hope I have pretty little springtime mitts to wear. Or I'll be able to wear a smaller skirt.

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Monday, March 26, 2012

It Took 5 Years

for my wisteria to bloom. And this year it has! I bought it out of one the dozens of plant catalogs we get each year. The picture in the catalog looked very much like this. And it only took 5 years for the little twig I received in the mail to bloom. Don't you wish that when you ordered out of those catalogs that what you received in the mail looked like their pictures right off? I know when I order, in my mind's eye, I'm going to get a plant that looks just like the picture in the mail. Not the little 4" twig I received. But I hung in there. Each year I composted. Each summer I watered. I mulched. Last year its vine grew an incredible 5 feet. But no blooms. I started wondering if they came in male and female plants like holly and I got a male that would never bloom. But oh-my-gosh this year! I'd like to say that it was worth the wait but to honest, I wanted it 4 years ago.

The vine is planted around the door to my workshop.
It smells heavenly!

Yesterday evening, I stood at the door for a long time. And this morning, too. This flower was on my gardener's bucket list. With the clemitis vine and the hollyhocks.

I've been letting the girls into the back yard. I don't like wasting the early spring grass on a lawnmower. Not when they enjoy it so much. So lately, I've been standing under the wisteria and talking to the girls. Then going into my workshop and washing some fleece as I look out the window at them. Sometimes they peek back in at me through the window.  And I truly appreciate being able to do that.

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Friday, March 23, 2012

Springtime Hat

I made another hat with the Kiri pattern like the light blue one. I used a Noro yarn that came in last week. It is 40% cotton, 30% silk, 15% wool and 15% nylon. It is such a comfortable hat to wear! I wore it yesterday to the yarn shop, then to dinner and karaoke. Lots of compliments on it. Knitted on a size 7 needle, it knits up rather quickly. The self striping yarn is just fun times!

Spring is popping out around here. My wisteria vine is blooming! I only had a couple of blooms last year but this year it is encircling the door to my workshop. When it is in full bloom I will definitely take some pictures to share with you. My hat looks very nice with the blooms, too. I tried to get one of the alpaca girls to model my hat but not one of them would have any of it. I tried though.

My knee is a little better but I still walk rather gingerly on it. All those years as a catcher playing soft ball. If I knew then what I know now I would have stayed at second base.

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Got Yarn?

Yesterday, I took more Noro yarn into the quilt shop for sale. It is so colorful and fun! I am knitting a hat out of one of the colorways now. It will be a nice spring hat. I'll share when its done.

Within the first 5 minutes yesterday while cleaning out my mom's house, I twisted my knee. It hurts like crazy and today I feel like crap. I had previously made plans that today was going to be a felting day, but nope. It only stops hurting when it is elevated and no weight on it. Not too much can be done sitting down. Except knitting! I started a new pair of spring mitts but it is a pattern that has to be concentrated on and no talking. I haven't worked on it yet today because I have been a captive audience for the men in the household. I just finished a tutorial on "Lil' Wayne" and I am getting a much deserved break right now. I can't tell you what some of the other topics have been because by 11am I wasn't able to focus very well and my eyeballs were rotating to the back of my head. I'm going to hobble out to my workshop where I might be able to receive a little cover from the onslaught of verbage. Please wish me luck!

I snapped a couple of shots of the new beret I finished last week out of the Sabine yarn. I love this yarn! The hat is light and airy and a great springtime hat.
This is the pattern that comes with a yarn purchase. I'm making another one! And today looks like a good day for it.

Talk to you soon,


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Finding Time

So what have you been up to lately? Even though this is obviously an old picture, it still conveys the question. I have spent the better part of the last week squirreled away in my workshop. I have been finishing my entries for MOPACA's annual fiber art show. There were nights that my family got to breathe air for supper. Then they started cooking for themselves. (Hunger will do that to a person) After a few days, takeout from the town's restaurant was discovered. I lost track of time during those days. I was found responding "huh?" to most questions. They finally gave up and went off to fend for themselves. And miracle of miracles, here it is the next week and they are still with us! lol

I'm a little superstitious about these things so after the show I will share my entries, win lose or draw. I am very happy with how they turned out. And I wasn't a totally absent mother. I tried to have coffee and breakfast each day with the family. I finished a knitted hat last week, too. But in my tunnel vision, I took it to the quilt shop and put it in the front window without taking pictures first. So, I'll have a picture of it soon to share with you. I do have a picture of about half-way through the knitting to share.

The yarn is from a line called Sabine from Juniper Moon. I love this yarn! It is 40% cotton, 40% royal llama (dehaired baby llama) and 20% merino. It is a joy to knit in this spring weather. The hat is a nice light blue, very spring like. I have the whole line in at the shop. I really like it because even with the warm weather we have been having this spring (low 80's), it doesn't make my hands sweaty to knit with it. And that means extended knitting season! Whooot! Well, I'm going to have to do some cooking today or I'm afraid my family may trade me in for a more practical model.

                                                                     Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Little John Takes A Wife

He has chosen. Or should I say, she has chosen him! Little John is all grown up now and has his own wife. They make a very cute couple. She gives him the companionship he has been wishing for. They walk around the barn clucking at each other and off to the pasture they go in search of adventure. Their romance has been going on a few days now. Its fun to see them together. (I know! I need to get out more)

Spring must be just around the corner because the hens have started laying eggs. If you look closely, you can tell there are at least 5 different hens' eggs in this clutch. They vary by shape and by color. We have one hen that lays torpedo eggs! When I find her nest, I'll show a picture of them. They are comical. But taste good.

Here are pics of Percy, right, and Lincoln, left. Both boys are turning into quite handsome alpacas. Look at that belly on Lincoln! He hasn't been skipping any meals. Percy has Laredo's frosted colored ears. That is a trademark Laredo stamp that he puts on all his crias. At least so far to date. Percy is just about old enough to start weaning from his mom.

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sock Yarns

I have been receiving some sock yarns to put in stock at the shop. I love the fact that they are superwash yarns. You can put them in the washer and wash 'em with the other clothes and air dry them. If they get put in the dryer by your son, on accident who was trying to help out, it is not the end of your knitted world. They still come out ok. I love the self-stripey-ness of them. Rounds of different colors with not a mountain of ends to weave in later. When you are done knitting, your done. But why are they called sock yarns? Are they sock-only yarns? Nooooo!
I started knitting mitts out of the yarn.  And I can get several pair of mitts out of one 100g skein, too.

Baby items are good because of the easy care. ie hats
And as I just mentioned, hats.

Some of the yarns have longer striping blocks which suit hats very well.

These mitts were fun and fast to knit. They are 3/4 mitts which means that they go up my forearm. They are longer than the others I have made and I really like the length. I have started a spring hat in light blue to go with them. Try making a pair for yourself!

Here is a picture of my grandson in his mitts. He likes to wear them, even when reading his bedtime stories with his dad at night. They are working out very well for him.

Busy little hands he has.

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Thursday, March 8, 2012


As you know, The Nemesis has become the project of projects. It has been frogged at least once. Yet every morning, as regular as having my cup of coffee, I worked on it. At least a few times I got discouraged and just looked at it while I sipped my coffee, wondering if it was ever going to get done. But the next day I kept on. You see, I like to knit. I like to knit every day. It has become natural and soothing to me to hold the little sticks in my hand.
And just when I thought I would be knitting on this scarf for the rest of 2012, there it was! The end!!

I  am so proud if it that I took a car ride to one of the prettiest natural spots (in my humble opinion) in the area to take some art pictures of it. I like the way it looks in this setting.

I thought this scarf was going to be so easy when I started it. It is simplistic in its beauty. But it took me about 2 months longer to make it than originally planned. But worth the wait.  I'll be knitting on something else tomorrow morning while sipping my coffee. But its okay. There can be only one Nemesis.

This is Griffin. It is his wool that made The Nemesis scarf.
He is a handsome boy, isn't he?

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hold On To Your Hats!

I went outside today and about had my head blown off! Despite the 61 degree temperature, the 61 mph wind is cold. I was going to do some barn work today. Just clean up a bit, hang out in the pasture a bit. But now I understand why the pastures are empty. Even the chickens are laying low in this wind. In the above picture, it looks like its hazy or maybe raining across the bottoms. Oh no! not so! That haze is dust. It is a dust storm out there and all kinds of things fly into your eyes. Little Lincoln did come out to say 'hi' to me and then kicked up his heels and ran back into the shed! I don't blame him.

He is growing like a weed and is about big enough to be able to join the main girl herd. I think Canela is ready, too. She is losing patience with him running and jumping on her, trying to play. Every time I look at him, I smile.

So, back I go to work on The Nemesis for my daily duty. It is coming along. I am now working on the attached I-chord edging as I am muttering how slow and steady wins the race. I just need to keep faith.

Talk to you soon,  Tammy