A Halloween Contest….

 Hello Everyone! 

Are you ready for All Hallows Eve? 

Do you have your treats ready?

It has been a busy end of month – I am amazed at how mild it has been.  The weather man did not need to tell me that it has been one of the warmest October’s on record – I have been appreciating how nice it has been.  We still have some pockets of vibrant color outside – all in all, it has been a truly lovely fall.

I have been busy spinning – this is truly addicting.  This summer I bought some beautiful Wensleydale fiber from Flying Fibers at the Allegan Fiber Festival.  I also met the sheep who gave this lovely fiber.  So, from sheep to yarn – here is a great example.  I wish I had bought more of this yummy stuff.  As you can see – it is natural – no dyes.  My girlfriend, blogless Mary, bought some as well.  I am going to buy it from her and spin up a bit more.  I see a clapotis in this yarn’s future.  I wish that you all could feel how soft this stuff is.   

I am very happy with my spinning on this.  The color in the photo does not do the yarn justice – it is really a very intense brown-grey. 

I had hoped to get my “Special Swap” package out on Saturday, but that did not happen.  I have it all set to go out today.  I had fun putting this package together – our theme was “movie night”.  I hope my pal enjoys the treats I put in her package!

Things have been a bit topsy turvy here also – remember the kitten that Heidi brought home?  Well, she took that kitten over to her dad’s home.  They were looking for a kitten – so, he moved over to their home. 

A co-worker had a black kitten that she was hoping to find a home for… and this is the cutest little kitty!  I had the dickens of a time trying to get a picture of her this morning though. 

Here she is in all her green-eyed glory.  She is so funny.  She loves the dogs.  But, Miss Noel is not so sure about this little rascal yet…

Here is where the contest comes in – help us name Little Kitty and I will send off some yarny goodness to the winning name. 

Leave your name suggestions in the comments – you have until Friday at noon EST. 

Happy Halloween everyone!  Have a fun day!

Waning October!

 Hello everyone!  Is anyone else amazed that this is the last Friday in October?  Yeah – where did the month go?

Tonight Heidi has her Decomposer’s Festival Concert – this is one of the kids favorite concerts all year.  There will be great music, light refreshments, and Crane’s Pies available for ordering.  If you are not doing anything tonight – there are 2 concert times (different from last year, but the demand for this concert is so great they needed to add an extra show!).  The early show is at 6PM and the late show begins at 8PM.  Leave me a comment if you are in the area and want to add this to your “must do” for the weekend.  Tickets are $5.00 – a great deal for the event of the season.

Now, moving on to bring you some fiber content!  For quite some time I have resisted spinning.  I did not really want to learn a new thing and I thought that knitting was the be all, end all.  While knitting is amazing – I am in no way giving up knitting – spinning  is beyond that.  It is soothing like knitting is but in a much different way.  I have the bug people.  This past week I worked on plying some fiber Rose and Ruby gave me when I bought my wheel.  I don’t know what the fiber is – but I have about 74 yds. of varigated yarn.  

There are still some spots where the yarn is thicker and thinner.  I am working on being more consistant.  I think it is lovely though, and I see a pair of wrist warmers in this yarn’s future. 

 Next, I got a bag of Corriedale roving and have been working on spinning that up.  It was a bit of a challenge at first, it seemed to have a shorter fiber and I stuggled a bit with drafting.  But, I kept going and this week I finished spinning up the bag and I plied it this week.  After a short bath to set my twist, this is what I ended up with. 

Still some areas of thick and thin, but much more consistant than the fiber above.  There is lots of this yarn!  By my calculations I have 1440 yards of this stuff!  I was hoping to get socks – and I have more than enough to do that.  I think I might have enough to knit a vest up!  I will be surfing Ravelry this weekend to see what I can find there.  I love the colorway and the subtle variation in this yarn.  It is soft and squishy.  I am very pleased with how this turned out.

I have some amazing Wensleydale hanging in my bathroom to dry – 1800 yards of Wensleydale.  I will post a photo when it is dry.  Gentle reader – if you could feel this fiber… Oh. My. Gosh.  It is purely amazing.  The faint lanolin aroma is divine.  I met the sheep that this fiber came from – making it all the more special.  He won some blue ribbons at the Allegan Fiber Festival – Best of Show was one of them.  I was able to spin this much more evenly – a nice fine spin.  I finished plying it last night.  1800 yards people – of amazingly soft yarn.  Stay tuned for photos.

I am taking a plying class in November in Howell, MI.  I am not sure I am doing this portion right, and The Spinning Loft has a spinner coming in from Vermont, I think, to teach plying techniques.  Oh – and I signed up for a dyeing class at ThreadBear in December.  Lots of new things coming up.

In case you are thinking there has been no knitting – I have cast on a pair of socks from IW’s Favorite Socks book – I found a new sock yarn from Zitron – Life Style – it is 100% Merino and has a very nice varigation pattern.  Self-striping – which normally I am not a big fan of – but this is looking like a nicely aged rag sock, without the bulk.  I am knitting the Undulating Rib Socks – and have the cuff done and have started on the Undulating Rib pattern.   They are the perfect “take along” pattern.  If you see me – look in my purse, they will be there!

 Well, have a safe and spooky weekend.  Later gaters!

It’s chilly outside!

Hello everyone.  Fall has, at long last, arrived!  When I got up this morning it was so crisp and chilly outside.  It smelled so great!  This is a great improvement from the “wet” smell in my condo.  Yes, you read that right – wet.  The switch went out on the sump pump and I have some wet carpet downstairs.  I am fortunate that I caught it early – Servicemaster – who I am on a first name basis with – came late yesterday to extract the water.  I have my own personal wind tunnel now until the carpet is dry!

So, just in case you are all wondering if I will be checking into the loony bin – although I had some serious thoughts about doing just that – I am doing just fine on the edge of crazy here.

I have been working on the finishing touches for Lynne’s Special Swap for this round – the theme surrounds a movie.  I think that this theme has been exceptionally wonderful and I am excited to see what my pal sends me and to see her reaction to what I will be shipping off to her.  I hope to have everything ready to head off this weekend.

Speaking of this weekend – I am picking up my first try at Angel Food Ministries on Saturday.  I will let you all know what my thoughts are on the food I get.  Although – for $25.00, this will be a HUGE savings on the monthly food bill here. 

I heard a lovely reminder this morning on the news – in 2 months it will be Christmas.  Have you started your holiday knitting yet??????  Yeah, I think I have the same answer here that you all have in your homes.  I had better get moving on some easy projects – I have a slate of mittens on my project list, a hat for my son, some slippers for my mom – and I am going to pull out some hibernating WIP’s to move out of here!  This may mean that I have to put the spinning wheel away for awhile!  Stay tuned for some interesting WIP updates!

Last night I sat down and finished spinning the Wensleydale I got at the Allegan Fiber Festival – now all I need to do is ply!  I believe I have gotten the hang of drafting and maintaining a fairly consistant strand while spinning – the plying should be easy, one would think, right?  Well – Blogless Mary and I are taking a plying class in November at The Spinning Loft and I hope to become more proficient at plying then!  I plyed the Corriedale and I have MORE than enough to knit myself a pair of socks.  They will have to wait until after my holiday knitting is completed before being cast on!

Well, I better get off to work – have a good day everyone. 

Weekends are for….

Good morning!!  Yes, we are up bright and early here – I have to head into work shortly and I wanted to finish up the laundry so I was not stuck doing that for the remainder of the day!  This is the best time of the day – it is quiet, I can sip my coffee, catch up on my blog reading and enjoy the start of the day.

It has been a strange week, both with the weather and with work.  I am  more than ready for the weekend! 

There are more trees with vibrant leaves – fall is definately upon us.  The storm did manage to de-foliate quite a few trees, there are still enough left with their fall attire proudly displayed. 

I had dinner with some friends last night and after dinner I walked downtown with Mary – we stopped in to Loker’s Shoe to see what was in the bargain basement.  I found a GREAT bargin indeed.  Some very chic cowboy boots – for $25.00!  Yes, you read that right – $25.00.  I may be looking for a hoe down this weekend to wear them to! 

 I really want to take a drive to view the colors this weekend, but I am not sure that will be accomplished.  There is homework to follow up on, housework to finish, and parents to check in on.

Aging parents can be quite a challenge!  Especially when neither one lives next door!  My mom has had some health struggles recently, and she is not a good patient!  Having been a nurse for her entire life – she could write the book on how to be a bad patient!  Well, I would say, and I think my sister might agree, that Mom could win the prize for not listening to what the doctor says!  I have been tossing the idea around in my head to move her in with me…. I just don’t know where we’d put her!!  So, for the time being, I am grateful that my work brings me to Grand Haven multiple times during the week – it makes it convenient to stop at lunch and after work to check up on her. 

 I had better get moving – have a great weekend everyone!

Friday = Fun day?

Hello everyone – well, last night we had some insane weather blow through our area.  It got dark and windy out – all of a sudden.  Then, the rains came down – lots of rain beating against the house.  Then came the hail – it was like buckshot being blasted at the house!  The cat just loved it – not!  So, I have Copper melded to me because he is terrified of storms, and Miss Noel freaking out – her tail the size of a baseball bat!   Penny, on the other hand, slept through all the turmoil.  Thank goodness Penny is NORMAL!  LOL 

So, I lit some candles just in case the power went out, turned on the tv, got out my  spinning wheel and some corriedale roving and went to town!  Two full bobbins later – Grey’s Anatomy was over, and I was well into ER. 

Does anyone watch “Ugly Betty”?  I have never watched this show – and if you are an Ugly Betty fan, my apologies in advance, but I think this has to be the dumbest show on television!  Just saying – sorry if you love the show!

 Have I told you how calming spinning is?  There is just something about that soothing, repetitive motion that soothes one so perfectly!  Wish I could show you a photo of how my evening ended up – Copper asleep with his head on my lap, Penny snoring on the back of the sofa, and Miss Noel perched next to her.  I am so excited, I think I will have more than enough to knit myself a pair of socks!!!  I have gotten the hang of drafting and this attempt is amazingly even and consistant.  I would post a photo, but I cannot find my camera!!

Today at work is a “run around” day – I need to go and pick up things from several people and I am even working tomorrow.  Although, I did interview for a new job this week – I hope to know something by next Friday, so stay tuned.

Tomorrow afternoon will be a “get away” day for me as well – I am heading out of town for the evening. 

Have a glorious Friday everyone!  Talk to you next week!

Rhinebeck Envy…

Hello Everyone! 

We are truly in the midst of Autumn here.  It seems that every other day we have overcast skies, damp, chilly weather, and intermittent rain.  This is the time of year that the color of the trees makes up for the lack of sunshine.  Against the gray background the reds of the maples seem redder – and the yellows and oranges are vibrant!  Not that I am loving days and days and days of rain – but it is a bright spot.

I wanted to thank you all for your kind and encouraging words – they meant more than you know.  Each day I think of the thoughts of all of you and I am reminded that I need to keep those thoughts going towards my friends families.  I called my girlfriend yesterday – I had checked in with her last week.  She was still surrounded by friends and family in the aftermath of the funeral.  And, when I called her yesterday – they had all gone back to their lives.  Good reminder, gentle reader – don’t fall off.  Yet, there were surprising acts of kindness that made us both cry.  Her husband’s employer is providing medical insurance through the end of the year for my pregnant girlfriend and her son.  Then, her husband’s co-worker’s are all chipping in some money from their pay to have the insurance continue for 2008.  I will be taking her out to lunch one day next week.  Please continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

Okay –  now for a lighter note –

After reading all the blog posts about Rhinebeck and the chatter on Ravelry – I am really envious of all you east coast people!  I have to work on Saturday, but, the urge to drive there is buzzing around my head.

I will be watching for all your stash enhancement that happens over the weekend – with great envy!  I really need to plan a road trip next year to participate! 

I had better get off to work – have a great day everyone!!

Kids and kittens

Hello everyone!

 It seems fall has arrived – kicking summer to the curb in it’s excitement to arrive.  So, today dawned gray, rainy, and cold – with no trace of summer who was lolling around on the sofa yesterday. 

 Words of warning – be careful of what you wish for – it may just happen!

So, I arrive home to find a new kitten at my home. Yes…you all read that right – a new kitten.

Now, no “awws” people.  One cat was wonderful – two I am not so sure about.  So now the dogs, Noel, and I have this “spitting” kitten to deal with.  Oh – it spits – at me, at the dogs, at the cat, – heavens – even at it’s image in a mirror.  Okay – I admit that is funny, but the dogs are definately not amused. 

So, I am still debating with my children about this kitten … stay posted for the news updates.

 Some of you asked for an “action” photo of my wine flip flop in action – and without further adieu… the flip flop in action!

Now – a more somber note…

 You have all been forewarned – so enter at your own risk for the remainder of this post…..

It has been a heck of a week or two (although it seems like the days have stood still at times)…. a good friend of mine committed suicide recently.  I have not blogged about it because of how painful it has been.  Then, as I was struggling to understand that – a very, very dear friend lost her husband very unexpectedly.  They had just found out they were expecting their second child.  This also knocked the wind out of my sails.  Some days life does not make sense… at all… it just hurts – so terribly much.  And there are no words to say….

This post is dedicated to two Steve’s  – may they live forever in the thoughts and hearts of those who loved them. 

Too hot to….

Hello Everyone – here it is a week into October and it was 90 plus degrees out today. 

That’s right, 90 plus – on October 7th.


Hello, Autumn? 

Are you there????

I can honestly say it was almost too hot to knit today.  Yep, the wool had to go… Banished back to the knitting bag.  With dreams of sitting on a beach somewhere –  sipping a nice cold beverage, I pulled out the Handmaiden Sea Silk I recently got – and began knitting the  Montego Bay Scarf.  Wow, this stuff is delicious!  Amazingly delicious.  It is cool and incredibly  silky – with the faint aroma of saltiness. 

The colors are definitely “fall” but this is truly a “hot weather” yarn. 

So, until Autumn decides to grace us with his presence this summery yarn will be sliding over my fingers. 

If you find yourself experiencing the “hot weather knitting blues” get yourself some of this stuff – it will cure what ails you!

Hope you had a great weekend!

October skies

Hello Everyone – have you all noticed how it seems like “overnight” that Autumn is in the air?  The trees are beginning to have a riot of color on those roads that hug the Lake Michigan coast – and in the rain this morning the smell of fall was in the air.  It was definately NOT a warm summer rain – but there was a dampness and chill in the air that belonged to fall.

 This means that it is almost time to get out the tights, socks, and cold weather things.  Almost – I am still being stubborn and wearing sandals!  Cold feet or not! 

Life continues to offer up surprises each day – and some of those surprises are quite pleasant.  Maybe it has to do with closed doors and open windows. 

There have been some sad occurances here in West Michigan – things that make one stop and review ones life.  And, much of this review has been good – very good indeed.  The everything old is new again kind of good.  In the past month I have spent much time thinking about where I am going – is this really the direction I want to be moving?  If I did nothing and moved along with status quo, would I be happy with that decision?  Well, the long and the short answer is no – I would so not be happy with where I am heading.  And, in the words of James Taylor from “Walking Man” …the leaves have come to turning and the goose has gone to fly.  And bridges are for burning, so don’t you let that yearning pass you by…

I have some changes coming – some very amazing, wonderful changes. 

 And, I have some knitting – stay posted for some pictures!