Monday, December 24, 2007

Notes on a Holiday

or, how i finally came up with a post for this infrequent blog.

1. don't start the season with The Day after thanksgiving. the day after The Day of Thanksgiving is fine. just give it a day. or even until december 1.
2. if you bitch and moan about all the icky-ness of The Commercialism of Christmas the whole month of december, you miss the holiday season, Charlie Brown.
3. household chores are made much more do-able with christmas music. pile of dirty, greasy dishes? no, problem: santa claus is coming to town!
4. i want to celebrate solstice as well next year.
5. snow really does put me in the mood.

6. knitting with red and white wool is very festive indeed. especially when making mittens.
7. putting the tree up 1 week before christmas is not early enough for me.
8. hot chocolate is good any time of day.
9. peppermint flavor peeps go smashing well atop my hot chocolate.
1o. eat more candy canes.
11. i sound like Buddy the Elf.
12. if you have to be out shopping on december 24th, just park in the first spot you see.

13. a well organized craft space makes things easier. i only know this because mine was anything but organized and every time i went to fetch something... well, let's just say, it took a while.
14. homemade goodies baking in the oven make the house feel warm and smell good
15. i've identified my favorite smell in the whole world: 1 part fresh christmas tree, 1 part last nights fire in the fire place, 1 part beeswax. if you've ever been to a historical house that is part of a living museum, it's that smell too.
16. i love me some wool base layers.
17. winter walking is one of my favorites-- it's so quiet and still.
18. there is always time for having treats and hot chocolate in the middle of the day with friends
19. oh, what the hell, i'll mention hot chocolate again. go make yourself a cup, really. it goes well with cinnamon rolls too.
20. Merry Christmas, ya'll. and a fine year of knittting in 2008.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

well, hello there. how's your holiday crafting going?

mine is delicate balance of stitching. just enough to keep me busy, not so much to burn me out. this is going to be ornaments. i hate that pink hoop. ick.

this morning i was so excited to get back to my feather and fan shawl. lots of knitting the night before had finally gotten me to the end-of-the-tails section. i was all set to start the feather and fan lace with my new color.
this morning however, i thought it best to double check the instructions before whipping that new color into the mix. sure enough. there was more work to be done on the tails section in the dark brown (which by the way i just found more of, while going through the-stash-that-lives-in-the-garage this weekend. it was a complete surprise to find more. turns out i needed it.) by doing another set of eyelet rows.

with those few (but forever taking) rows done, i can finally say that i have started the feather and fan lace section in the next color. how glorious it is!

and that's the latest.

Monday, November 19, 2007

black and white

knitting, knitting how i love thee.
stitch by stitch.
round after round.
lovely bamboo needle running through.
sure, we are having record warm temperatures and i can drive around in a tee shirt with the windows down, but i am, nonetheless, craving winter. winter, nordic, winter. i was lolly-gagging around ravelry, exploring mittens and perusing the selbuvotter group-- beauty. there is so much beauty in those tiny stitches. i simply had to get the needles working on it. (if you want the long story: it was saartje's adorable baby cap that had to put into my ravelry queue, that had me then exploring the danish groups, the nordic knitters and finally selbuvotter.) well, i'm down right addicted. can't stop. this is what i've cranked out today. last night i had to pull the better part of the reindeer/moose glove i had going. it was HUGE. i knew i had a slightly different gauge, but this wasn't even going to fit papa elf himself. Now i'm well into this mitten, and while it fits me perfectly, i would have liked it to be a bit bigger to fit my father. oh well, new mittens for me.

now, speaking of Folk (it's all folk, all the time around here)
here's another shot of my feather and fan triangle shawl. there hasn't been too much growth recently. for one thing, the rows "all of a sudden" have a gagillion stitches on them. each row takes a little longer to finish. and reason two: i've got selbuvotter. the picture shows the new light browns that are going to make up the feather and fan portion of the shawl. the 2 skeins i so badly had to get.

cheers. happy thanksgiving ya'll. i'm making pies.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

"prevention is the best medicine"

it would appear that there is A Cold out there in blog land. that's an enormous blanket statement. but let me just say that it seems many people have been sick and so clearly, The Junk is spreading. That being said, i'd like to leave you with my favorite things to take when i might be getting The Crud.

First Up: Kick Ass Immune. (apparently, there has a been a name change, i liked the old one. it made me feel bad ass, thus unable to get a wimpy old cold. bring it! i'll kick your virus ass with herbs! take that!)

This one is great when you feel that little bit off and the voice in your head says, "i'm feeling odd. might i be getting sick?" Yes, you probably are, and you'd better take something now. And then you should bulk up.

time to kick up the good stuff. what i like about these, compared to other zinc products, is the addition of echinacea, bee pollen (wonder of the world, what can't bee pollen do for your body?!) and slippery elm, which coats your [now] slightly scratchy throat. what i don't like is the semi- metallic taste i have in my mouth at the end of the day, after taking several. That's okay tho, because i wash it all down with: yogi tea Cold Season.
it's got a ginger taste and something else wonderful and with a healthy glug of honey poured in, it's really rather good. my experience with some other cold and throat teas is the overwhelming licorice taste, which I DO NOT LIKE! it turns me off from using teas to help prevent or heal. ick. licorice. i know it's good for you, but really, ick!

and there you have it, some of my favorite things for cold prevention.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

santa is a knitter

For those of us that prefer to make holiday gifts, it really isn't too early to start thinking Christmas. that being said, i still don't like hearing and seeing all those holiday jingle bell singin' holiday commercials on t.v.-- it seems too early. i asked tom about this, the commercials being early, and he said, "no. it's just that the weather hasn't changed and cooled off enough." oh. right. Seventy degree days don't make for christmas weather here in the Rocky Mountains.

anyway. every year i love getting The Prairie Schooler Santa issued for the year. I've been making these for my Mother Werner, a previous cross-stitcher herself. I totally spaced it out last year! So, this year i'm on it. And imagine my thrill when i saw that santa is a knitter. Not just a knitter. but, a multi-project knitter. santa's got two pairs of needles with him. And look he's doesn't have just one bag. but a basket and a bag! like me. i've been stitchin' a lot. it's been a nice little change from knitting.

oh, but who am i kidding. i'm knitting too. i've started the feather & fan triangle shawl from Folk Shawls- thanks to Cosette's inspiration!
i'm using the rest of the ecological wool that i had-- and just used for the Tomten. i think i have a new crush on this yarn. i also just bought two other shades to go with it. i drove really fast to get more yarn. it was one of those Must Buy Yarn for This Project Today moments. No, it wouldn't wait until tomorrow. And no, it's not like i needed it to keep knitting. I just had to get it today. So, i'm rockin' it down to the town that has the yarn (yes, i called to check) about 35 miles away. And when i get there, the shop is CLOSED. what!? i thought i checked the closing time online. they "should" be open later. As i approached the door, to double or triple check that they were closed, the shop owner was walking out (you know, end of her business day, ready to go home) and kindly said, "Did you need something?" I sure did. I needed yarn. and I knew just what yarn i wanted. "well come on in and pick it out," she said to me. Can you believe that?! The shop is closed and she's still willing to sell me yarn! I was so appreciative. Ya'll should visit the Recycled Lamb (during regular business hours, of course) if you are needing yarn. Today!


look people! it's a little dusting of the precious white stuff. of course, it didn't last long after i took this picture. but it's hopeful. and makes for a good soup day. i did a little nordic snow dance (not traditional. i made it up. didn't want you to google 'nordic snow dance' and come up disappointed.).

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

the button factory

it's only taken me forever to figure out how to get titles for each post. and, i've decided on a new page template. it's a mini-make over. something new.

some projects have been lingering in the "needs buttons" basket for awhile.

little birdies for a little sweater.

something simple for simple shoes.

and a classic zipper for a classic jacket.

the tomten is done and i love it. i love it so much i could just about make another one right this minute!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

well folks, i've been to South Dakota. it's offical. I can put a thumb tack in the Black Hills area (Silver City to be specific. But we drove around a lot. Deadwood looks a lot better on HBO) on my United States map. we went with some friends, who happen to be the parents of the children i now only care for 20ish hours a week. they have good ol' friends up there with cabins. i like cabins.

tourist shot-me
we went to Mt. Rushmore ( it was VERY windy). Saw the Presidents. I even smooshed their faces onto a penny. So American.
tourist shot-tom

we also saw the wildlife there. One of Tom's favorite: the Mountain Goat.
mountain goat
Oh, and i rode a bicycle. I know, you just fell out of your chair! but i did it. All 16 miles of the days adventure. and i wasn't totally knackered at the end. While we were in S. Dakota, Tom and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary ( i love that we got married in October, the weather and scenery are alway so bee-u-tiful!). Turns out we had our first real bicycle ride together. It only took three years for the man to get me on bicycle with more than one gear.
rest stop
(there's my "boyfriend," {all week i heard his sweet little 2 1/2 yr old voice say, "Emwee, come here."} axel on his dad's handle bars. adventure abounds. )

I've been working on a Tomten-- a wooley, brown, eco-wool Tomten. really, it's the hood that gets me, and the squishiness of the garter stitch (and i won't kid you, it probably has something to do with Scandinavian folklore. We all know my enthusiasm for all thing Scandinavia last winter.). i'm not sure on the size. some where between baby and toddler size, i guess.

there are lots more South Dakota pictures over at the flickr. get on over. you'll get a more well rounded view.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

well hello.
did you think i was in the corner making out with my applesauce, unable to compose a decent post? no, it's not that bad. tho, i did make another 19pints recently. used galas, golden delish., a wee bit of honey and a hint of cinnamon. mmmm. i used my presser cooker to cook the apples... in like 3 minutes. it's been a very happy autumn. i had a kick ass cooking day last sunday: hearty chicken noodle soup a la farmer's market veggies, apple crisp (with maple syrup), moist corn bread and brown-rice pudding made with rice milk. yeah! but, the noodles in the soup turned to mush and i hate mush in my food. the crisp was soo good i want to make another pan pronto! the cornbread was excellent. and the rice pudding was too sweet because i didn't really need to add honey or vanilla to the vanilla rice milk i used. it was a bit of trial and error. that's the thing with recipes: you gotta try 'em and then adjust to your own liking. i like maple syrup!

so in knitting news:

rusted root, finished
the rusted root is finally done. it had been done once before but it was too long and got bunchy. so i took out rows from the bottom pattern and reknit the rib band. i like it now and it's great for autumn. i wear it over the this b/w striped long sleeved shirt and i think it look rather artistic.

autumn light
this is my autumn light picture inspired by SouleMama (one of my new favorite blogs. she posts about everyday and i still can't get enough. love her!)

alpaca shawl
this is the nursing shawl in alpaca i've been working on forever. i don't need it for nursing purposes at this point so it serves as a lovely, warm and soft scarf/shawl/wrap. it's really elegant.
montana wool

my latest yarn love, er obsession, is Beaverslide Dry Goods McTaggert Tweed. It's so squishy and wooly! I also thoroughly enjoy supporting small farms that make an effort to keep the processing state side or in some cases just north of the border. i'm in love and if i could buy this yarn locally i'd been swimming through it and snuggling up in bed with it. I'm using it to make Tom an old-man style cardigan: shawl-ish collar, pocket and great wood buttons. Oh, i can just imagine the snowflakes flying and the smell of the wood fire.

I've been in a bit of finishing/starting funk lately-- thus the lack of interest to post anything. but i've finally got is squared away. I'm making a baby tomten in cascade eco wool (tho, for the life of me i can't figure out what makes it "eco") and a set of Big Snugs in Cascade 22o and Twisted Alpaca.

it's all good. now, off to that apple crisp!

Friday, September 21, 2007

the homemade home-front continues. earlier this week i found myself at a local farm stand asking the farm-stand helper, "how many pounds of apples are in a box?" he didn't really know, so he popped the whole box on the scale. "About 25, " he replied. "well, then. I want the whole box, " I told him. "Someone must like apples," he said.

why did i want a whole box of organic gala apples from the western slopes of colorado?

"I'm making applesauce."
"Someone must really like applesauce."
"Well there's three of us making applesauce," i quipped back, a little bothered that he comment on my whole box of apples. i don't believe for a moment that i am the first or last person to buy the entire box of apples.

We made fantastic, organic, local, applesauce. (i'm calling it local because most Colorado apples come from the western slope. and while we did try to make an appointment to pick our apples from a much more local {i.e. the next town to the north} farm, the farm did not return my requests in time. ) Nearly 17 pints full of tasty, fresh and smooth applesauce. and there's nothing else in it except good memories, friendship and homemade local taste.

(i might have a crush on my applesauce.)

it's scrumptious-- i i love that autumn is here!

Monday, September 10, 2007

i've just returned home from my friend's house in which we made our 1st and 2nd batches of fresh mozzarella cheese! our first batch, was not successful. we almost had ourselves some cheese; the curds separated from the whey, but it looked a lot more like ricotta cheese then mozzarella. so we went out to the health food store, baby and all, and bought some really, really good milk -- it's not local but came so highly recommended by the staff, who knew about cheese making, we thought it was worth the try. it's all in the milk people! it can't be ultra pasteurized. we came home with milk that hadn't been homogenized and was VAT pasteurized allowing to cook better and had cream on the top.

with the second batch looking much better, we congratulated ourselves on being Cheese Makers. this is exciting to me for 2 reasons: one, we made freakin' cheese! and number two, because the whey pulls the lactose out of the milk, my ain't-gonna-take-no-lactose body, don't mind this yummy homemade treat!

cheese, people, i made freakin' cheese!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

so with my new job i've had lots more time for knitting and thus reflection.

here's what i've been thinking about: it's green

  • i've finished reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.
  • do i really want to be a Costco member any more? they carry a variety of organic foods and some eco cleaning products... but i just don't know.
  • The Boulder Farmer's Market is hosting this good event: Save the date Septeber 15 (Saturday) EAT LOCAL! CELEBRATION. Come join us in a community celebration of our local foodshed! Speakers, demonstrations, tasting, music and more! Sponsored by Boulder County Farmers' Markets, BOULDER COUNTY GOING LOCAL!, Boulder Valley Relocalization, and Boulder County Independent Business Alliance. Inaugural publication release of Boulder County's EAT LOCAL! Resource Guide, a complete guide to the local foodshed! One Boulder Plaza (13th & Canyon), 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • i've been watching It's Not Easy Being Green. you really should watch all the video clips. i watch it at 10pm and then feel compelled to turn my entire balcony into a vegetable patch and hitch up a wind turbine.
  • i've been lurking here, here, and here.
  • and there is this going on too.
  • i *heart* organic yarn.
and there you have it. i've wanted to share this for awhile, but couldn't organize it. this is simple.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

so, how'd you like that whole week of completed projects... and daily posts? i thought it was heaps of fun, and bit of a show-off. Fun nonetheless.

Now on the needles: A Sweater for Tom.
and not just any sweater, ya'll, but The First sweater i have knit for him. It's going to be an Elizabeth Zimmermann seamless hybrid-- i'm hybriding right long, now that the sleeves have been added on the looooong circular needle.
i'm using Reynolds Candide: it's a natural color, with more vegetable matter in it than just about any other yarn i've used. it's 100% virgin wool, but i've been calling it 100% Itch.
Not really.
I think we've all become so used to highly processed wools.
The bits of vegetable matter make it real. and i have lovely thoughts of Sheepy in the pasture.

The sweater, in this photo, doesn't look like it's going to fit him.
But trust me.
he's been faithfully trying on all the pieces to confirm my measurments.
again and again.

Friday, August 31, 2007

another organic blanket
(can you tell i am starting a collection)
un-named organic cotton
color grown cream and sage
us size 8

my own design-- thanks to stitch pattern books.
this blanket was intended to be a donation item to the school auction at my group-care job. but since i don't work there anymore...
it's just gonna stay with me.
and of course, i love it!


feather and fan scarf autunno (100% fine merino wool)
us size 9

made for my Werner mother, Florence. she picked the yarn out while visiting us this summer.
WOW! can you believe i've had a post for every day this week!
it's like i'm a regular now.
mostly it is because i have so many finished projects stocked up, but i hope to be a little more consistent in the future.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

saartje's booties
debbie blisss cotton angora
us size 4
buttons to close booties have not yet been sewn on

these are the happiest garter stitch bootie-- so i made a few more pairs.

in other home-life news: yesterday was my first day at the new gig. it's going to take a little time to settle in, but i enjoyed it and i'm glad i made the switch.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

garter stitch blanket
blue sky alpacas organic cotton: color grown sage
un-named organic cotton: color grown brown
us 8 needles

i've had this one on the needles for a long time-- it was just garter stitch. so it was the project i worked on when i wasn't feeling obsessed with any one project. but suddenly, this was the project i was obsessed with. i worked on it every moment i had. something about the simple garter stitch lent it's self perfectly to the simplicity i needed during the latest transition. i ran out of yarn before finishing the lace border. Tom took me up to Ft. Collins (~1 hr north) to get one more skein of precious organic yarn after work on a tuesdays night. it took up our entire evening. it's the only yarn store in the area that carries the un-named kind i was using.

i was a little crushed when it was done.
i bound off. admired it. washed it.
and then proceeded to pace around the house. nothing felt good to knit.
there was not ONE project in the house that was suitable.

tom took me to the yarn store to get a new project.
i'll post about it soon.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

february sweater
cotton comfort: 80% wool, 20% organic cotton
us 6 needles
sans button, but i'll get them on there soon.

i've joined the ranks of so many neo-zimmermann's. but how can you not when it is so charming. i made mine a bit different from the pithy instructions. i reserved stitches at both the top and under arms for sleeves. then i proceeded to knit the entire body. Later i picked up the reserved arm stitches, used the magic loop method to knit the sleeves circular and established the lace pattern. Absolutely no seams!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Good Morning!
that's right. it's monday. and it's good
i'm knitting.
it's really good!

no work for me today. i've started my new job this week, and it allows me a whole lot more of this. that's right: sittin' and knittin'.

The new gig: i've accepted an offer to work for one family tending to their wee children, 20-25 hours a week, in their home. There is a long and involved story in which this all played out, but the details get me all worked up and irratated (mostly that piece involved the company i worked for, their lack of written policy, and lack of professionalism...blah, blah, blah) and i was happy to work for people who offered me the job saying, "we want to make this work, and we'll do what we have to get you. it's crazy that some people pay more money to have their house cleaned than to care for their children."

I'm so dang happy to be starting something new, to change, and to work in a home with one family. my heart is no longer in group care for the very young. not to mention a 16 step diaper change (of which i could do up to 20) and wearing vinyl gloves to serve food. in my new job i'll get to wear a baby, if that's what she and i need (something i fought for, but didn't win about 2 years ago while working in the infant room. ), i'll be able to use glass, mostly all natural foods and toys, and spend time going on walks.

so that's the news. it's new. and it makes me happy.

Friday, August 10, 2007

i have so much i want to share, i'm not sure where to start, how to tie it together or whether to put it into different posts entirely. nonetheless, i want to share the variety of completed knitting projects (really, i refuse to call them "F.O's", it's such a strange description to me.), how The Green Thing has a strong hold on me, and my new exciting job change (for you, my steady blog readers, who are also My Knitting Group, this is old news) and how, with all of it going on, i feel more in touch with how i want to live my life.

but tonight it is late. i have no pictures to share. my contacts feel dry from staring at this computer screen for too long searching out the latest in knitting goodness, tips for vegetables and composing emails.


Monday, July 30, 2007

OMG!! where is the knitting content in this blog? it's been days. weeks! months?! (lord i hope not!). there are batteries in the camera. the camera is near the knitting. why aren't the pictures happening? oh, i've had a few things going on:
  • getting a new jobby-job set up
  • working on leaving the old one
  • what is insomnia?
  • knitting to reduce stress
  • visit from my werner parents (i.e lots of cleaning before hand while fighting off a cold)
  • more knitting, feel sanity returning
  • reading my new favorite book (no Potter here. I'm only on the third chapter, but i am smitten, sigh.)
  • cast off. ponder new project(s).

knitting photos to come.

Monday, July 23, 2007

i'm sending this cooling thought out to Meike.
Lordy it's hot outside-- hey Winter, come visit us any time. this whole 100 degree thing is not for me.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

we are back from our bicycle tour of colorado: steamboat springs, walden, winterpark, copper mountain, leadville and kremmling... and back to steamboat springs.

upon arriving in 'the boat' we visited Moots headquarters.

and this gentleman was making ice cream, powered by a bike, of course!

camping in steamboat springs the first night it became obvious in about two seconds that this was not going to be The Tour of Colorado, but rather, The Tour de 'Skeeto, as we all experienced about 10 more mosquito bites than preferred. i quickly searched for the bug repellent and anti-itch cream (i'm a total weenie when it come to itchy bites).

here is Gould (a tiny place 20 miles outside of Walden, also tiny): we got a million more bites.

Oh, hail! No 'skeeters here. This is atop Loveland pass-- after freezing rain and the biggest bolts of lighting i've ever seen (one mountain top away!) we had hail twice; the weather is crazy in The Rocky Mountains (use your best announcer voice for that!). Cyclist were seeking shelter everywhere, including port-o-johns (we saw three bicycles leaning against one, leading us to presume there were at least 3 people hiding out in there...ewwwwww).

i spent most of my week assuming the position: drive approx. 20 miles, park safely, knit, greet tom with water/heed mixture, and bug repellent, repeat.

alas, we reach the end after 6 days of riding (+ 1 rest day in Copper), 8 mountain passes, crossed the Continental Divide 6 times, countless itchy 'skeeto bites, one shoulder partially sunburned, 4 nights of camping and 3 nights with a roof over our heads, returning to Steamboat.
and just for grins, this is Mt. Werner; we'd like to think it is OURS!

next post: knitting projects in review.

Friday, June 22, 2007

soon, i'll be seeing the beautiful scenery that is mountainous colorado-- for a whole week. so i thought i would leave you with some artistic photographs.

here's my tribute to amelie. happy summer ya'll, it's cherry season.

my current knitting project: of course it's organic cotton... and of course it's a baby blanket.

and more summer goodness-- a boutique of flowers.

talk to ya in july!