Friday, June 30, 2006

Fond memories

This post is late, but yesterday was Heathers Birthday. Hooray she turned 8 and I'm so proud of her. She is coming along to be a great person.Yesterday I was also reading a post by the yarn Harlot about breast feeding. I also read the comments left by many of the readers. There were 132. It brought a tear to my eye because everything I felt was echoed somewhere in there. It was so well expressed I didn't feel the need to leave a comment. I breast fed both of my daughters and my stepchild was too. My first one I could only do for three months and the second for only two. But they are both healthy and we share a very close bond. When they went on formula for their various reasons, they began to get frequent ear infections and very bad gas. Unfortunately as much as I wanted to continue naturally, I just was not able to. It was not the fault of culture or nature or society. I will say that when I went back to work with my first child, in the military, my desire to pump was not supported by my supervisors and the local counselors were not very helpful about how to use the pump and how to store the milk. My supervisors didn't understand why I needed to be away every two hours and I had to use a 1 person stall.(the only womens bathroom for the whole building.)In public people were shocked and confused. But I was always covered by a blanket for my privacy as well as their comfort. I wound up quitting tho because my daughter had facial surgery and by the time she was healed my milk had dried, and she had forgotten how to latch on. Her birthday is in 10 days.My second daughter came at a hectic time in my life and after a month went to live with her grandmother. I nursed her until 1 day befor she left. It was great since I knew what I was doing and I had all day to spend with her. My in-laws came to visit first and after they left my mom came. In the hospital, the nuses wanted to bottle feed. They were worried the baby would starve since my milk didn't come in till the next day or so. I let them feed her sugar water but no formula. When I told them I was breast feeding, they seemed shocked and did what they wanted when they took her away. Fortunately that was only once or twice. Then my milk came in and she didn't leave the room. Both my girls were strong and determined. Heather ate a lot and often. Quisha ate often but not much at a sitting. If I had it to do over again in this day and age I would have BF both of them until they were at least 6 mos if not a year.This weekend I am going to spend with all of my girls. I miss them a lot, and hope that they don't miss me too much. They are supposed to be having fun.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

A new addition

Once again ladies and gents, we have got a new dog. Hopefully this one will last longer and grow slower than the pup from the begining of the year. This one is a Cocker Spaniel about 6 months old cream and tan in color. He has only been home 1 day and he's peed twice on the carpet. (yeah, Scooter did that too but you know hopw that goes. He's mostly kenel trained but still whines and does not know the comand "kennel up!" It may be because of the new kennel, or how his previous owners used it. What? A picture you say? Oh, Ok
Yeah, black and white. How I adore contrasts!
I read the Yarn Harlot and I have come to the determination I am a Knitter. (with a capital K).
Unfortunatly all my projects are on hold until I can get the preffesional work done. Then I can finish my socks, do my person's B-day present and finish John's sweater.
Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Sights for sore eyes.

John and the kids, canoeing on Spring Lake.

The kids in Harcourt driving the local bus.

The kids and John before they left for the river.

Have a good summer ladies, love and miss you...Mom.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Last of the show

(sheep waiting to be shorn)
So sat afternoon was cool, hung out the rest of the day, ran into Gina, hit a Really nice Italian restaurant and had a meal you actually had to slow down and taste. It was exquisite! And the atmosphere was very Italian. But lets move on to Sunday.
It started fine, had breakfast at Bruggers Bagels and wandered the local park in Adel.....

That is the raccoon river.
Hit the fiber show with 40 dollars left in my pocket just burning a hole! I found some brown dye, purchased some washed white kid mohair, and a cotton drop spindle. I also got 2 balls of dyed roving just to play with. I wound up with a t-shirt that proudly proclaims I love my sable! 1/2 lb California Variegated Mutant, a ball of grey and black wool blended with glitter tinsel and some other bright and shiny stuff.
Well at that point I went to sit and spin. I brought my wheel this time and was approached by a lady about drop spindle lessons for a friend of hers. Always glad to help, I said yes. While she was away, two other ladies came and asked about the same thing, I again said yes I could teach them. The first lady came back with her friend and watched me spindle. They had already had lessons and only needed a refresher. They asked a few questions, once they figured out what they needed to know. Then they thanked me and left. The next two ladies had gone off to buy roving and drop spindles and had their lessons from scratch.

I saw my friend Linda and that completed the list. I got a drop spindle, fiber I hadn't spun before, some brown dye, oh I gave up on the hand cards. Bought a fleece and sent it off to a new mill. Before I left I said goodbye to every one and took some photo's of the vendors building. Then we left. The car ride home was uneventful but we may be going back to Des Moines next month!
The last week or two have been busy at work, I have picked up a knitting assignment, and I have also been washing Escamillo's 2005 blanket. I thought I was done until I noticed another bag on the shelf. OIY!
That reminds me I have to go see about Mr. Washie now.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Sheep and shopping

Ok where did we leave off? Oh yeah, the beginning of the shopping and seeing of sheep. Before I start, here is a good link to the sheep breeds I'm talking about.Well first I searched for brown wool. There were several shades available. And I had the option to dye white wool as well. So I bought some coffee brown corridale-7 oz, brown merino blended with white pygora- 1 oz, and chocolate colored CVM-8 oz. The CVM and the Pygora blend also satisfied that fiber I haven't spun before requirement. I did notice that when I got home that the blend matched my alpaca closer than the Corridale but I bought 7 oz of the Corridale and only one oz of the P/M blend. If I buy white alpaca roving from Desoto again, I can blend it with the CVM if I want to. I wandered over to the judgeing building to see the fleece contest.

Many fleeces, fine medium and course. The fines were Rambulette, the med were Corridale , and Jacob, and the course were border Leicester, Romney, crosses of the two and California red. Gorgeous fleeces- heavy, clean, bright, EXPENSIVE! The average prices were 10$ per lb. I picked 3 fleeces I wanted to buy before the judging started, all longwools. They got 1st second and honorable mention. The rest all got something. One fleece that was nice but I didn't like. The color one was grand champion. It was a misty grey.I sat down and drop spindled with these ladies while they were doing their sheep to shawl.

It was a demo since there was only one team signed up. One of these ladies is the daughter of a friend of mine. They were spinning a cross breed of Suffolk. And that brings me to another point..I have always been told that Suffolk was not a good breed for spinning. That is such hogwash! It is a rougher wool, but the fleece is so..distinctive even when crossed with something else. There is a loft that seems to have nothing to do with crimp. I can't explain it, but once I knew what to look for, I could tell everytime. It almost made the wool look nepped, but when you looked closer, you realized that wasn't it at all. I wound up buying a Suffolk cross and sending it to a mill. It is a grey/oatmeal. 4 months and we will see. Speaking of mills, my alpaca wool blend I sent off to the mill should be back end of July. Next I went out to see the sheep and the shearing demo. They were doing a Hall of Breeds. They had California Reds, Jacobs, Dorsets, Cormo's Navajo Churro, Shetland and I think a Targee. I was told some Lincolns would be coming but I didn't get to see them. There were Angora goats as well. A few had lambs and many were medium to large build. The California Red as a baby is red, but as an adult is oatmeal. I tried to get a lamb fleece but the ball got dropped somewhere.
By then it was noon and John came to get me for lunch at Panera bread (did you know that Panera means bakery or bread store? Isn't that kinda redundant?) and to check out a yarn shop we found called Knitted Together. Nice place nice people, only been open since March. The photo will say the rest.
John and Nancy Wyatt
There are some others I missed called Purls, and Knitwit as well as Creative corner. This means once again that we will have to go back.Well that's enough for today, I've got knit meeting tonight.

Post script: My alpaca fleece came back from the mill the 19th of June, the CVM roving has spinning oil in it so I won't be blending it, There were more fleeces than the photo shows, 4 were on the table when I took the photo.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Iowa sheep and wool

This tale is long in the telling so sit down and let me spin a yarn.
The trip was cool, uneventful but still cool. Iowa is dotted with small towns. We made it there in 2 hours . The Motel 6 we stayed at was nice, though the room was small for the price we paid. The outdoor pool would have been nice if the weather had cooperated. Sixty, over cast and raining off and on. But that was saturday. We rolled around West Des moines and found the guitar shop John was looking for. They were closing, so we took a trip to Borders, and ran into ...yep knitsters!
They pittied me enough to hand me some 15 needles and Brownsheep yarn. I made eyelets while we chatted. They told me about the three yarn stores in town. (I only got to one, there was a festival going on ya know!) But I met one of the ladies from Creative Corner at this meeting. I will say that West D, is much the same as West O. But more developed like they started it. Their Sheels only has a tree where ours has a ferris wheel. Friday nights dinner was in care of Culvers. Not all that great but I'd never eaten there before. We did not have the famouse custard, so maybe we will go back.
Saturday was up early, at the gate at 8 am.Breakfast came from Hy -Vee. I took some time to meet the wool judge, the vendors, and find 2 of my friends. One was Luanne Thompson of Thompsons corner, felting teacher and Jacob sheep owner,

the other was Di anne Boehm, Angora rabbit breeder, and Babe dealer.
There were about 15 or so vendors in the building selling yarn, fiber, fleece and equipment...
I bought stuff from almost all of them. I got some knitting done on sock 2. (I know the photos are Long overdue!) There was drop spindleing going on because I left the wheel at the hotel. The weather was bad. One lady brought in a great wheel, it was taller than John who's 5' 8" There is more but I'll post more tomorrow. There was a great yarn shop, cool sheep and a river running thru it. I gotta leave ya hanging!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Moving out

Moving out
Wednesdayy night we went to see moving out, a musical, and it was loud! The dancing was cool, I saw a combo ofballett, river dance breakdancing and ballroom in there. The music was nice to hear again, esp River of dreams. All in all it made me want to read the song lyrics a little more in depth. John and I were in the upper balcony, so ID'ing specific dancers was kinda hard.

Today we pack and prepare for the sheep and wool fest in Iowa. The dog is going to a local kennel. I hope he has fun meeting and playing with other dogs and people. I expect to pack light and come back heavy! I will be taking my camera, ashford, the Columbia wool, my drop spindle and border lester wool,the current sock project, 2 pair capri's and t shirts, my hoodie and assorted toiletries. That's it! Leaving the rest of the space for fiber, equipment, cards and paper stuff. Oh yeah and Johns stuff too.

As I have heard from the kids, they are fine. Making friends and running around morning noon and night.

Knit meeting Tuesday night was 4 of us including me, but we had fun talking girl talk. We actually got a few comments on how quiet we were.

I was listening to my podcasts, knit out in public day is Saturday. The knitting word cupstarts tomorrow, and I believe in the knitting church described in cast on's new episode.
By the way here is a list of the ones I listen to : cast on, It's a purl man, Aussie knits, pixie purls, knitwit, insubordinate, musings of a peaceful knitter...
There are so many, but I really have listened to them all. I picked out the ones I liked (and even one I don't like but listen to, to keep informed.) I am wishy washy about music, if it's there or not there doesn't matter, if I don't like it I FF, if I do I listen.

On the blog note I read the panopticon,(who I may stop after todays post!) Yarn harlot, modeknit, you knit what, and mamacate. There are a few others, titanium rose is one. Dragonknitter if you have one, tell me where it is!

I have sock one almost done I had to give my hands a rest but I will have it finished and the next one started by the time I come back. Yes it's the regia bon bon. I changed the sock pattern to fit my foot better and knitted it in 2/2 rib instead of stockinnette. Fits snug so far. No they did not wind up toe up, but I will try two at once next time.

Ok I just found out it's supposed to rain all weekend. Rats. Better go change my Capris to pants and maybe an umbrella.

Monday, June 05, 2006

garden party

This weekend was great, I took my 12 year old to the Botanical gardens down the street and OOhed and AAhhed at the flora they had, only to notice today that my own flora has been putting on a show…

The yellow one(granda flora) is doing just fine for it’s first year, but the other one and I need to have a talk. It was not this color last year, the petals were striped purple and white. I suspect they did that grafting thing and since I had to cut the canes to the ground this year, the truth is out! Yup a red bud and two pale lavender blooms.

But to make up for the tricky nature of my hybrid tea, There is this growing in the garden next to it...

Yeah, that is a huge lilly,and yes they are all that tall. There should be some red ones in there somewhere but we will have to wait. The mulberry trees are dropping berries by the bucketful, the tree in the backyard is flowering and what a nice fragrance it has! My Iris’ have done their thing, but the spiderwort is still open in the morning. The fall lilies haven’t grown stems yet, and the rhoddies and Azeleas have ceased to bloom. I have a multitude of wild flowers going, but I don’t know their names. I live in a garden where ther is always something blooming, or fruiting. I feel so truly blessed.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

By "Shear " Luck!

Wouldn't you know it? I went down to see the boys today, and Coal Dancer had just had his shearing done! What a treat to walk in for humming and walk out with black alpaca fiber. Now I get to play with it, clean some, card and spin it up and see if my 500.00 was worth it. I think so. Even though his fleece is short, right around 3 inches, it is silky. It weighed in at 4 lbs 10 oz which is good considering I am a one woman operation. I could put it with some wool or just see how it works by itself.

On to spinning, I have been spinning some tussah silk, and some more of the rough Columbia wool. After that is done I can start on the soft Columbia wool. I will be pulling some of the shetland cross black wool into roving here soon. I will be washing the rest of 'Millo's fleece this weekend, and maybe dying some of the Columbia. Speaking of which I need to go pick up Diannes fleece tomorrow too.

I am knitting the sock and am working the last of the heel flap. (Regia yarn in yellow orange and purple on size 3 dpn's.) Johns sweater is on the back burner, I picked up the stitches around the arm hole so when I finish the sleeve I'm working from the cuff up, I won't have to worry about shaping it to the decreases, I will just do a 3 needle bind off. ( or I may graft, whichever feels more comfortable to John. I know I still will have to knit the side from the armhole 'till its about 1/2 the finished sleeve length, but trust me it will work.

Podcast! Have you noticed how many podcasts there are now? WOW, well I downloaded 7-10 new ones and have been sorting through them since last evening. It might take me a couple more days as the new ones are longer. Some have music, some do not. Some are about more than just knitting. Speaking of online fun, I may enter the soccer cup knitting event. I figure I can knit that cool lace project in a month...yeah...yeah...?

The new Spin Off came today and I know I owe you photos but it's calling me so-