Monday, September 25, 2017

Monday Morning Musings

This weekend. .. My new mini washing machine arrived. I had been washing wool overnight in buckets. I would soak a big handful of wool in each of four buckets overnight on the porch. The next morning I would haul all the buckets into the house, carefully dump them, fill the bucket with soapy water, add the wool back in then do two rinse soaks. Jim finally got tired of the kitchen always having wool soaking. The method works but it is heavy and messy and in the way for hours. We talked about it. Truthfully I was just as frustrated as he was, hours of work each day and for a few ounces, I have a large amount to clean. This was working well but so slowly and so laboriously. He found this cute little apartment washing machine for me. It has a separate spin tub. I washed 18.65 oz the first day! The second day I decided to see if I could shorten the overnight soak. So I got 16.20 & 18.45 oz done using a five hour soak instead of overnight.

Jim left for a convention late Sunday so the weekend was spent around the house cuddling and playing games. As usual he gave a hug and kiss to a different stuffed animal to hold for the kids so the kids have a daddy kiss each night. I love how much he loves them.

Right now... The girls and I are waiting for supervision to start on the playground so they can go to school. Last night I made Paul Hollywood's ring doughnut recipe, it works great. We had it for desert and breakfast. The girls whipped some cream while I made lunches. They had theirs on the doughnut, I am having mine in my coffee. Drip thing is still working great by the way.

Plans... Cleaning the rec room. It got completely trashed in me cleaning my office and Beaver cleaning his room and moving to college. Neither of us got our stuff out of the way before I foolishly allowed the others to build a huge cardboard fort down their. Beads and fabric were used and mess breeds more mess. I want it all cleaned by Friday! I did about a third of the room last week and the fridge down there. So hopefully I can get it done, when it is i am going to allow the fort to be rebuilt with duct tape so they can keep it.

I am also planning on prepping as much fiber as possible for next weeks Spinzilla! It is my first time participating and I am excited. I signed up for Team Miekle.

I want to wrap all presents for Christmas and birthdays that I have ready and buy remaining birthday presents for Bunny and Seal.

And clean off my dresser.

If I get some time for myself... I will knit the socks.

Prayerful intentions...
The families of two people who died unexpectedly last week.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Camping with Mom

 Every year Mom and I camp out at Wisconsin Sheep and Wool. Sometimes we have classes to attend, sometimes others join us. We camp in the same spot each year for a few years now and have friends we have met there as neighbors each year. There is a pavilion right where we camp and the bathrooms - with hot showers - are just across the way. We are far from the action at this spot but that has its charm too. After we got out site set up out came the spinning for me and knitting for Mom.
Mom took these pictures to show the family how we were doing. The van was parked there to try to block the wind, it was fairly cold for September.
This is my Mom, Robin.
I got a few shots in myself. We bring a hot plate, a toaster oven and this year a electric kettle and make our meals. We both love cooking and tend to fix ridiculously complicated things for camping. This year's highlights are Mussel stew, crepes, Yorkshire pudding with three mushroom hash, and a steamed lemon pudding, and scones for tea time. The kettle was a great addition helping not just in tea and coffee making but also in clean up time. 
This little guy was also camping out at the festival. These are Shetland sheep. The darker sheep is full grown, the brown and white spotted sheep is a Jacobs and that breed in average sized for sheep. Shetland are tiny.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Sheep and wool

what had to come home with me.
 Plying thread from Interlacements.
 This is Texcel wool, Mom and I are splitting a 8oz bag. She will be felting I will be spinning. Texcel is normally a meat breed, but I want to try all the things.
 One oz samplers from Hearthside Fibers Whitefaced Woodland Sheep, Shetland Sheep, Egyptian cotton, Baby Llama, Masham sheep, and  Swaledale Sheep
 Welsh Mountain Sheep, Perendale Sheep, Hemp, Rambouillet Sheep and Gotland
 This is one oz of Columbia wool from All American Mill
 5oz of Flax from the WoolGatherers
 Two 2oz braids of Nylon from Hello Purl
 A cute thing also from Hello Purl
Weld from Handspun by Stephania.
A tiny Shawl pin By Ingrid the Crafty
A Nalbining needle and a comb clamp from Mielke's
 A pair of knitting pins from Celestial Designs Fiber Art
 This cute shawl pattern
 These two old books from the Woolgatherers
And this signed copy from Jilliano Moreno.

I also got a Paula Simmons book on wool as a cottage industry. Most of this will be used in pursuit of my COE. Mom and I camp for the whole time and really enjoyed ourselves.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Crafting on Pink Avenue

Linking up with the ladies of Crafting On hosted at Frontier Dreams.

It has been a while since I took the time to blog, I always forget how much time everything takes. There was going to be more to that sentence, but I thing it is actually perfectly accurate right like that. The kids are starting to settle back into a routine, it is a new one but it is a routine, and so will I.

I have two knitting projects going right now, both are Christmas presents. I set a goal of at least one handmade gift for everyone this year. I wrote my list in January, I wish I had started crafting them then too! I have four done so far, but lots of big time intensive things on the list yet and I want to build time into the schedule for helping the kids make their gifts too.

The Avenue socks by Expat Knitter Designs:
I just am getting started but the bonus to this new routine is two hours knitting time at the girls violin group lessons on Monday nights and an hour at private lessons on Thursday.

The Dragon Mittens which I am using but heavily modifying a pattern for (by Tanis Lavallee) , my husband is checking my math so I only have the swatch to show.

The cream is 100% wool and will be the dragon on the backs of the mittens, the green 50/50 Wool/alpaca.

Thought I would add my just finished socks, too.
These are Expat knitter's Grand Central socks, modified with no pattern on the top of the foot and adding a 2by2 rib at the ankle.

All of these yarns are stash yarns, the plan with some of the presents is to work from what I have, so far so good, I have had to buy matching yarn to finish things but so far no new unrelated yarn purchases for present making. I have in the past bought more intending to make things that did not get made for presents.




Monday, September 18, 2017

Some Mondays are more Monday than others

We had a long lovely weekend, with a dear friend getting married and a friend party for Badger's birthday. The party was cat themed and everyone had fun. The wedding was extra special because of the obvious joy of the couple and getting to see far away friends.
All that fun, however, means everyone was just a bit slower this morning getting moving back into routine. Mouse gets dropped off at 7 and the girls go with ready for their drop off at 7:30. The schools aren't that far apart, so we play on the playground or read in the car. They don't actually go into the building until almost 8, so when the weather is bad I am thankful I can stay and let them be in the car. When the weather is super bad or it is raining they can go inside, but I like being able to stay with them.
This morning was already a bit rough, as a said, and we were sitting listening to the songs Bunny is learning on violin, when the radio killed. The weekend before my battery was drained, light left on, at Wisconsin Sheep and Wool, so I had the kids go on to school and hoped to get home quickly.  Nope.
I immediately realized that was not happening and managed to get parked again.
Jim came out to save me. My serpentine belt has apparently been shredding. I had mentioned I thought I heard a flapping noise last week he told me to see what wrong, I said i could open the hood but wouldn't know anything thereafter. So when he opened it this morning he said even you would know this was wrong. I don't think that helped either of us, but I wished I had looked!
He had a meeting so we left the car there and picked up a new belt on the way home.
Now to housecleaning, the basement is a complete disaster and I hope to get it done this week, while still having time for everything else. I always seem to think I have more time than I really do.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Crafting on - dress, socks, and control

 I am working on two projects related to this card. The first is I want to improve the consistency of my spinning for the purposes of earning my COE, and I want to keep a record of my spinning. I read that other spinners keep track by using cards or tags and keep small samples of their yarns both as singles and after the ply. If you can think of anything else I could add let me know. The second project here is a joint effort sweater for my children's godfather. I will do the spinning and another friend will be knitting him a cabled sweater. We got to talking about spinning and knitting and what kind of yarn is best for Aran style sweaters and now I a spinning samples. Then she will knit samples and we will decide which to work with. The samples will be:
2-ply, oiled, spun z plyed s
3-ply, oiled, spun z plyed s
2-ply, oiled, spun s plyed z
3-ply, oiled, spun s plyed z
and her favorite of above un-oiled.   I am researching old methods of spinning, hence the oiled wool, I have spun the first sample and am undecided about my opinion of the oiling of the fleece before carding.

This photo is a twofer as well, in the foreground is my knitting - socks as a Christmas present. The pattern is Grand Central for the NY collection by the Knitting Expat. I hate the colorway and am thinking of overdyeing it, however, someone said she liked it. So there is that.

The fabric is for the dress I am making for my interpretation work down at Garfield Farm Museum. I am hoping to get it done by May 21st, but am toying with the idea of hand stitching it, mostly. I have it cut and basted, which I did by machine. I think I will try to hand stitch it but do the gathers by machine.

This is the pattern packet front.


Joining in with the Crafting On today, I am looking forward to seeing what everyone is working on.









Monday, May 8, 2017

Monday Musings - May Eighth

Now...
The house is quiet, the washing machine is going. Jim is working in his office, Beaver is waiting for a ride to his field trip. The others are at school. I made bread yesterday and crunched on it in the car while I dropped the girls off. I finally have a cup of coffee, in my mug for my mother-in-law. The mug reminds me of something that I might be served in at the Green Dragon Inn. "it comes in PINTS?"  I am sitting here trying to organize my day.

Over the weekend...
 Jim came home from his business trip on Friday and we spent the evening with old friends. Our hostess made these yummy plantain chips and now I want more. We get together roughly every two weeks to play pathfinder and we had a good time. Most of the weekend was taken up with cuddling, we cuddled Jim because he was home, we cuddled Bunny because she wasn't feeling well (better now) and we cuddled Badger because she didn't want to be left out and her sister was getting all the cuddles. Mouse had homework, he is struggling with the workload required by placing him in classes at his readiness level - three grade ahead in Math - it is not the work itself, just the change from low to no homework to work every night. He has been reading a ton, but not recording it for his teachers, this weekend was a lot of digging out books at his reading level and convincing him to pick one, write it down and start reading it. Once he picked, he sat down and read hundred pages - he is starting the Dragonriders of Pern series - with out problem and enjoyed the book. I re-arranged part of one bookshelf with books I think he will be interested in.

Plans...
Tonight is the girl's violin concert! I have some video work to do for the video I an putting out this week and some for the next one. I am making a new dress for my interpretation work at Garfield Farm Museum. I am working on increasing consistency and record keeping in my spinning for my COE work and trying new techinques. This week oiling wool. I would really like to finish my sweater this week, but it would take a miracle. I would like to get to the gym.

Spare Time...
work on sweater and watch videos, thankfully I can do both at once!

Prayerful intentions...
I will be praying for my dad, who was much healthier before he retired. I will be praying for my friend's dad, who is in hospital while they figure out what is wrong with him. I will be praying for another friend's step-dad, who's grief is destroying him as a man.

~Julia