Update From Minnesota

Hey there blog!

I am happy to report that we got all the yarn labeled before I left for my mini vacation. I was pleased to be able to meet that goal and relax and enjoy the trip.

I had a fantastic time in Chicago, where we went for the concert and then visiting one of my daughters. Steven Wilson and the band were awesome as usual and Jerry and I had a lot of fun alone time. We saw the show both nights at the Vic Theater and did some exploring around the area.

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We stayed at the hotel just around the corner and saw the band’s gear being unloaded into the venue on the afternoon we arrived. I tried to play it cool and not look like a fangirl but I was totally losing it inside, LOL!

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We bought the tickets for the first night’s show as a last minute idea so we were in the balcony that night. I didn’t take any pictures from that show but I am so glad we went since the setlist was slightly different both nights and we would have missed out on one of the songs we were most waiting to hear if we had only seen the second show. I had bought the tickets for the second show when they went on fan pre-sale so we were in the second row for that. I did take a couple pictures but restrained myself from taking more since they asked for no filming the first night.

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This was pretty much how close we were when they came to the front of the stage. I only cropped these pictures a bit, no zoom was used. It was amazing!

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On the day between shows Jerry and I walked down to the lake front park and puttered around for awhile before lunch.

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We went to visit Meredith and Luke the next day and had a great visit with them, but I forgot to take any pictures. Oops! We also missed the new baby by a day and a half. She was born the day after we got home. They named her Samantha Claire and she looks very much like her beautiful mother did as a baby.

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Speaking of babies, I did finish that onesie I was knitting on the night before I left for Minnesota. I didn’t get a chance to take a picture before I left so I will do that on my return. In the mean time here’s a knitting progress shot of Carolan, which I have gone back to work on. I was able to find my place without much trouble and have knit quite a bit on it in my down time at the hotel last night and the night before last.

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I am headed over to the fairgrounds to set up my booth shortly for the Shepherd’s Harvest Festival tomorrow. Here’s a shot of my truck and trailer I took Tuesday before I left Nashville. As you can see we are in full spring/summer mode there, but not so much here in Minnesota today. It’s only mid 40’s today, but I see the forecast for Saturday and Sunday look sunny and warm. Hope it’s good turnout! See you again soon.

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I know, it’s been awhile….

Well, here I am again after a shockingly long hiatus. I saw Needlefingers catch up post yesterday and was inspired to dust off my blog and get back to writing. I like to keep this little record for some of the same reasons Kristi stated. It’s a good way to refresh my memory of what happened when. That gets increasingly helpful at my age, LOL. Also it’s a good way to share with interested parties what’s happening with the business and my knitting. Sure, I can and do use Ravelry to record knitting projects, but sometimes, like now actually, when I am working on a design of my own that I plan to publish the pattern for, I tend to wait until it’s published to post it there.

Which leads nicely into what is on my needles anyway? Well I started this current project around the end of July I think, after I finished my Sprossling in Classic Merino Superwash Sock yarn.

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I had this idea to design a Shetland style lace square, but with some modifications on the traditional model. I wanted to make it using my one of my newer colors, Honeydew, in Classic Merino Lace. Time for a picture, yes?

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I picked out a lace pattern from Barbara Walters Treasury and tried swatching from the written directions just to see if I wanted to pursue it. I got about eight rows into a thirty-two row repeat and gave up on that idea. I could see I was never going to make it through the swatch without a chart. So I then spent several hours charting the design and got back to my swatch. I liked it and calculated by gauge how many stitches to cast on and got started. This picture above is taken about a month after I cast on and before I started the border.

What I did that was different from traditional lace squares, AFAIK, is work my center square from one end to the other rather than on the diagonal. I realized after awhile of knitting that I could see the wisdom in the diagonal square for actually producing a square. In order to make the stitch pattern come out even mine is slightly taller than it is wide. I didn’t want to be work mine diagonally because of the pattern direction. I proceeded hoping for the best. :-)

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Finally I reached to point of picking a border design, and went with an Ostrich Plume. By the time I had done one repeat of that I had well over 1000 stitches on the needles I think and decided that was quite enough and time to pick an edging. At this point I and on the final side, having passed the third corner this weekend, and heading to the finish line.

I am not completely sure how big this thing is but I am on the seventh skein of yarn, heh heh. Is anyone going to want to make this? LOL! We shall see, but it is pretty impressive if size counts for anything. This has been my exclusive knitting except for a quick foray into baby sweater knitting around Christmas and New Years for some of the grandbabies.

We are also hard at work in the woodshop this winter/spring making a huge, and I do mean huge, batch of mahogany and walnut boxes. We are finally to the sanding stage. We have to sand all the insides of the box pieces before we do the glue up/assembly, which is to come next.

Oh, I told you back in June how we had gotten a couple guinea pigs, right? Well in September we added a kitten to the mix. Here’s Mimi. :-) She was rescued from someones car engine and we adopted her. She was around 7-9 weeks old I think when we got her which makes her around 7-8 months now.  The top picture is from October 2017 and the bottom one was taken last week.

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Okay, I’ll close for now and see you soon. Thanks for reading!

How is it already the end of May?

Yikes! Where did the spring go? How can it already be Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of summer? I guess time flies when you are busy (and old, LOL). I knew it had been awhile since I posted but I didn’t realize my last post was April 25th. Sorry about that.

I have been traveling much and basically checking in at home long enough to do the grocery shopping, launder my clothes and throw them back in my suitcase. :-) I have a bit of knitting progress on my Sprossling but it’s still not a sweater yet. I have the back almost finished.  Forgive the lighting please; it’s in my hotel room.

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When I AM home I have been enjoying the wildlife feeders we have in our yard. We see all kinds of critters and birds at the feeding stations. Here’s a feeder Jerry made for the squirrels (in hopes they will stay out of the bird feeder, LOL). Check out the one on the ground eating what the other one drops. :-D

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I am in Wooster, OH at the moment for the Great Lakes Fiber Show.  I hope to see some of you who are regulars to the festival. I am in my usual spot, for those of you who may be new to the show, that is Bldg. 39 booths 31-33.

I have always thought that the drive through Cincinnati is an interesting one. The way the city skyline appears coming in from the south on I-71/I-75.  I decided to try to snap a quick shot on Thursday. I was kind of rainy, but still looks pretty cool.

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The top image is the raw shot and the second is cropped to zoom in the perspective.

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Well, I guess that will do for today. I hope I don’t leave you hanging for a month again. No promises, but I will try. There’s a new grand baby due in a couple weeks so at the very least you will probably hear from me then if not sooner. Thanks for hanging in there. :-)

New Sweater Post

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I finished my sweater on Sunday. I blocked it on Monday and got the buttons on Tuesday.

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This is not a great picture but I figured what the heck, at least you can see it fits. I do like the fit for a change. I often get frustrated in making a size that fits without clinging and yet doesn’t add bulkiness and make me look frumpy. This is about as good as it gets. :-)

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I like the little added detail of the buttons at the bottom cuff on each size.

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Two Things..

Thing number one is that I have published Sorrel 2.0 and it is on my website and available on Ravelry for those who prefer to keep all their patterns in one easy spot.

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Thing number two is that we FINALLY have some new Sock Keepers made and they are also on the website. What is a Sock Keeper you may ask (if you are a new knitter or maybe not one at all) ? It is nifty tool to keep your work in progress (WIP) safely on the needles when you are not working on it, i.e. in your project bag. It works like this:

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We previously made these by laminating thin strips of wood together like this:

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We recently decided to change that to make them out of solid pieces of wood. From time to time we will different offerings dependent on what wood we have on hand, but at the moment we have five varieties available.

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From top to bottom: Mahogany, Poplar, Cherry, Oak and Walnut. Nothing else has changed from the way we always have made them. They are the same dimensions and they are still only $20 each. They would make great gifts for the sock knitter on your Christmas list. Winking smile

Last update for today is that I have begun the lace edge on the bottom of the Chance of Showers. I didn’t take a new picture yet, but I will on my next post when I have a bit more done.

It was a Blue Day

I am going to attempt to resuscitate this poor blog. I last posted in mid fall last year after Meredith’s wedding. Our household under went many changes in October and November and honestly I found very little energy left for the blog. Once it was no longer in my routine it was harder to get motivated to catch it up. Well, today I suddenly felt the urge to pick it back up and get back in touch with you all. Hope some of you are still willing to tune in. :-)

So what are the changes? Well for one, half of our children have now left the nest. Our oldest daughter and my grandson moved out in late September. Then of course Meredith in October. Right after Thanksgiving the last of the adult children, Cassie, Joanie and Josiah all took an apartment nearby and are doing well there. It was a big adjustment going from a household of 12 to one of 6 but I am getting used to it.

Believe it or not I have not minded taking back over all the housekeeping. The plus is that it all gets done to my liking. It does leave less time for other things of course so one must set priorities. School work has been taking a big chunk of our time also but I feel good about that. It has bothered me many times that I didn’t feel the younger children were getting as much of my supervision and energy as the older ones did. That is mainly because of the business I guess. I have let it take a slightly lower priority lately. I have been working a a lot over the winter and spring but it has been easier to work it into my schedule with less traveling this year. I have been doing quite a bit of custom dyeing for others this year. I dyed for Cookie A’s sock club and have also been dyeing fiber for a local alpaca mill. I have enjoyed that change of pace very much.

But this week we are dyeing up our yarn for the late summer and fall festival season. As the title indicates today was Blue Day around here. Want to see what we did all day?

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I have been knitting sporadically and am finally on the yoke section of the upsized Sorrel I started a year ago

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I know. It is shameful how long this is taking. I am at the point where I need to do some math and decision making. Rather than do that which I was not in the mood for I cast on a fun little project with some stash yarn. It’s Chance of Showers in some Elsabeth Lavold Silky Wool. It is fun!

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We will do more catching up as I go along. Tomorrow’s Purple Day!

On the wires

Stay tuned. ..

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Kimani is on the wires…