Saturday, August 25, 2012

Score! Wollmeise!!

Darlene, a long time and good friend, went to Gemany this summer to see her darling grandsons. Darlene hasn't been knitting a year but has heard me talk about Wollmeise and the fact it's worth its weight in gold to knitters everywhere.  After listening to my description of the beautiful colors and items made in this yarn she was bound and determined our community of knitters were going to be knitting on Wollmeise in the fall. Not only was she able to buy multiple skeins but she bought the yarn at the annual "Nobody's Perfect" sale and got a screaming deal on each of the skeins!
Darlene said it is a TINY shop and the women there were sticky buns to sticky buns around the entire shop. If a skein dropped to the floor there was no way to wedge your way down to pick it up! When the German women bought their skeins the immediately went out the door to the picnic tables in front of the shop, ripped opened the packages, took photos and began to knit!
I immediately proposed a "Wollmeise Tour" for end of next July!! Are you in?

Friday, August 24, 2012

End of the first week of school

Monday started with a fire and Friday ended with one - just in another direction! It is a repeat of Monday. As I was driving home I looked into the horizon and there was a plume of smoke, just in another direction, north of Billings. It quickly exploded into 2,000 acres. The Chick is there now and it is Hubby's destination tomorrow. The skies have been smoky all week. The poor ranchers and farmers.

PS. On a lighter note, I love my new assignment as science teacher - I have been dubbed "Professor" and the kiddos love my sidekick Morty McMasters!

Monday, August 20, 2012

The first day of school

Today was the first day of school for the teachers, students will be arriving on Wednesday. With a new superintendent in the district, there are many changes afoot.  Beginning with today's agenda, it was an interesting day at school and ended with me coming home to this:

The fire was six miles away and with the wind blowing in the opposite direction from our home we are safe. Over two thousand acres of much needed feed for cattle is going up in smoke and with the drought this year this may prove disasterous for our nearby ranchers.

"The Chick Who Flew the Coop" has taken two weeks of vacation from her office job at the state capitol to fight fires this summer - what got her through collage and she thought was out of her system apparently is still there. Like father like daughter, they are currently both fighting on this fire.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Not just a regular cup of coffee

"Luwak Coffee, or Civat Coffee, is made out of coffee berries which have been eaten by and passed through the digestive tract of the Asian palm civet. After being collected, the coffee beans are higienically processed and perfectly roasted for the complex distinctive flavors."
For years my BFF and I have said that the only person we know who would drink "Poo Coffee" would be my son-in-law, the California Dreamin' Boy. Well, we were given a big surprise this spring when that very young man went to Asia and brought back "Poo Coffee" not for him - but for US!

We decided it had to be a special occasion when we drank the coffee. Perhaps the first morning of our summer. But it didn't work out and week after week we kept putting the event off. Finally, our coffee could no longer be delayed and today, the last morning of our summer, we indulged.
With heirloom and handpainted china, a cutwork tablecloth from Germany, scones and lemon butter we had a wonderful morning.
The coffee was good, made better with cream. Another item is off my bucket list...thank you California Dreamin' Family, you've helped me tick off another one!

Sock the Vote KAL

Recently, I decided to join my first KAL. When Mel, of SingleHandedKnits, came up with the wonderful idea of adding a little fun to the long fall of mud slinging I knew this was the KAL for me.  Although the official fun doesn't kick off for a month, I've decided my party and made my party contribution. Our yarn, colored along party lines, will be delivered in September but Mel has something up her sleeve (or down her cuff, I'm not sure which). Friday she offered up challenge #1:
Knit a tiny sock, just one tiny sock. She warned us it will be used in the future. This sock could cross party lines - in other words it could be top down/bottom up/or any other way you could knit a sock!
Pattern: Tiny Sock Ornament
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Solid
Colorway: White
Needle size: US 0

Stay tuned for updates on this election year fun!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Fawning over the fawns, finally

Yesterday hubby was working in The Man Room - finally doing some sorting! He found a key laying around and thought it might be to the back door. He was a bit surprised at our visitors!
I've seen Momma around and wondered why I could count her ribs - now I know,  count the fawns!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cowboy Christmas

The Wyoming Cowboy Family have had these Christmas Stockings since they were children.  The stocking is about 36 inches long from cuff to toe. It is always a big family endeavor to get each stocking filled - everything from brooms to pop!
Recently Kendy’s brother lost all their Christmas ornaments to theft (yes, really) and she asked if I would help to knit replacements and show her daughter how to knit the pattern. It was surprisingly easy, although I wish I’d knit the cuff in the round rather than the rows stated in the pattern.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Fourth 2012 Christmas Sweater

The fourth of six Christmas sweaters is now complete. Although I started Joe's sweater earlier this summer, I decided to change the stripes to this beautiful oatmeal color. I plan on using the original striped sweater but it will be ripped back to a size that I can use it for Sam.
Pattern: Mirror Stripes by Deb Gemmel
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool
Colorway: Natural Mix
Needles: US 3 and 5

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Chloe's knitting summer project

This spring a friend who is new to knitting found a great beginner's scarf pattern. The name of the pattern is Waterfall. The scarf takes only one skein of yarn, less than twenty stitches, and only one type of stitch, the knit stitch. I thought it would be great practice for my granddaughter when she visited. Another of my knitting buddies found some great sequined, purple variegated yarn at Hobby Lobby. Awesome color for Chloe, she loves sequins and purple is her favorite color!

When Chloe arrived we started the scarf but it never really got far...she knit a row I'd knit three or four. Without going into the particulars, the scarf doesn't use a regular knit stitch and was hard for her to wrap her little head around the slight change in stitch. Finally, I told her I'd just finish the scarf and send it to her.
Later, Chloe went into my yarn stash and brought out more yarn. She thought she'd like to start a hat for her new cousin Samuel who would be visiting from England when she returned to California. We found a hat pattern and I sent her home with an inch or two completed. Today I got an email and photo...
A lesson is to be learned here:
Don't try tell a knitter what to knit - even a young one!

Spiraling down the sock vortex

I've finished another pair of Stashbuster Spirals. This is the sixteenth pair of socks this year! I'm SO into vanilla socks!
Patten: A little of Lala's No Pattern Socks, some of Stashbuster Spirals, and a dash of “Kebnekaise” Socks.
Yarn: Lorna'a Laces Shepherd Sock Multi, Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet, Red Heart Heart and Sole
 Colorway: Maple Grove, Rust, Ivory
Needle size: US size 1 needles

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Beeritas...mmm, muy bueno!!

NorDakPurl Gurl has asked for this recipe. It's good, fast, fairly low calorie and packs a punch!


1-12oz limeade concentrate
2 cans seven-up (I use diet)
1/2 limeade can of Tequila
1 bottle of Bud Lite lime

Mix and serve over ice!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

You knit socks...are you CRAZY?

I've been asked about my new interest/love of sock knitting....

I don't like just sitting or waiting twiddling my thumbs. Meetings drive me crazy because usually only a tenth of the information has anything to do with me. Appointments at the doctor's always leave me waiting. Traveling, car or plane, involves little movement and lately a lot of waiting at the airport. These are perfect times to bring out the emergency knitting! Sock projects can easily be carried in the "Momma bag" sized purse most of us carry, but I soon realized the pattern was often misplaced. Memorizing the following simple pattern has been a great solution:

 Emergency Knitting
 Top Down Sock Pattern:

-Size 1 circular needles
-Cast on 72 stitches
-Knit ribbing in the round to desired length (about 1 inch)
-Knit cuff as long as you like (7 inches total for me)
-Put waste yarn in for the after thought heel to be knit later
-Knit the foot to end of your baby toe
-Decrease 2 sts on each side of the original 36sts every other row, until there are 12sts
-Kitchener’s remaining sts.
-Pick up heel from waste yarn (36 sts on each side of circular needle)
-Knit 4 rows then knit heel the same as toe!!

I use this as a basic pattern but have added:
1. Striping yarn
2. Ribbed down entire socks
3. Stashbuster spirals
4. Skyp socks
5. "Kebnekaise" socks
6. In other words, find a sock pattern you like and plop the "sock texture" into this generic pattern.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Toady visits the greenhouse

There's and new a little creature residing in my greenhouse. I've been stalking him for the past week. He tends to jump out at me when least expected and then quickly hides away. I 've checked at odd times during the day, hoping to catch a glimpse and yesterday it paid off! I had my camera at the ready and was able to take a few shots.
He is a Woodhouse's Toad, and although he lives in the central United States this is the first one I've seen on our place. They like to burrow and in fact he is living in the greenhouse under two 2x4's the fan is sitting on.  I hope he finds his new home to be suitable and will live out his four years with us.

This morning when watering the plants, I was a bit startled seeing him hop out of his hidy-hole when it got damp!