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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Spinning and Dyeing and Admiring the Cactus!!

 Stayed up late last night and finished spinning and plying some more of the llama/merino/soy silk and here she is ready to be washed and hung to dry. Am having problems with my electric spinning wheel and suspect it could the fluctuation in the power with the cold weather, have not had a problem before so my spinning is not what it should be but it will look rustic and handspun....right. Is really hard to keep an even twist when it slows down and then speeds up. It is warming up right now so hopefully will not have to worry about it, should really do some spinning when it is warmer and see if that is the problem........hmmm....while I am writing this another thought has come to mind....could it be the electric cord I am using is too long.......all the cords were taken for use at the Christmas market a few weeks ago and do not know what happened to them so in desperation I brought  this really long cord in to plug the spinning wheel in....and it is really long. RH did buy a couple new short cords the other day so will try replacing the long one tomorrow, that might solve the problem.

Washed up some of the Alpaca sock yarn I had spun at the mill to get the spinning oil out of it, have to get that reskeined tomorrow . Am slowly...slowly...getting things ready for Sat. Although I really did not feel like it I managed to get some yarn dyed tonight, will try to get a few more skeins dyed tomorrow, did not help that the other person in the house wanted help with the computer when I was in the middle of it, I prefer not to have any humans in the house when I am dyeing, is enough to have the demands of the house animals, to them I can just say go! go!

I am so busy with all this market stuff I am missing the blooming of the Christmas cactus, the sun was out today so opened the blinds to give them some sun, the way they are blooming they will be finished by Christmas.

The white Christmas cactus is my Grandmother's, when she moved to the lodge it moved to my house, this plant has to be at least forty years old or older, can not remember when she got it, it is a very large plant.
Now this Cactus was gifted to me by my Son and Daughter-in-law because it was not happy at their house and it was always all pink...look at it has some white blooms..and they are on the same branches as the pink blooms, it is like Grandmothers cactus is moving in on the other cactus.

Now this Cactus was my mother-in-laws and it came to me when she passed away, it looked like I was going to lose it, it was all wilted so I repotted it about a week ago and has it ever perked up, I don't think the soil was holding the water anymore...and look at was all pink too... and now it has white blossoms on it. When I find a minute will have to read up on Christmas Cactus and see if I can find out why this is happening. The cactus are so beautiful but sooooo messy.  The temperature is getting warmer outside and with it the wind is coming up, now they are warning us of blowing snow, hope it does not get too bad as the feed truck is supposed to arrive and we are scraping the bottom of the barrel so need it bad. Well off to bed!! Tomorrow is another day!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

We are in a Deep Freeze!!

Knit a pair of fingerless mitts from the silk and almost have another mitt knit, have to get spinning so I have enough yarn, will wash and block this pair tomorrow. Washed up twenty skeins of yarn today and have them hanging drying. I like to wash the spinning oils out of the yarn I get spun at the mill, makes it so much nicer to knit with.
 Had knit and felted these hats a while ago but was not happy with the shape of them so put them in mesh bags and put them back through a short wash and rinse in the washer. Then tugged and stretched and finally got them into shape, they turned out pretty good, will let them dry and then crochet some flowers or something to decorate them, have seven of them.

Went through all my balls of yarn trying to find some colors that would go well with the hat colors, might try a few pin felted flowers, will see, I better get myself organized or am not going to get everything finished. Christmas market is this Saturday. Tomorrow really should get a couple of dye pots going, only have one skein left from the last market, can not leave it too late or they will not be dry in time. Do not think frozen yarn will sell too well. Right now the temperature is -30.8 and it is cold out there, thank-goodness no wind. Weatherman says it should warm up a bit by the end of the week and hope he is right. When it is this cold you do not want to go far, specially when you live up in the hills like we do, is a real trek to get down to where you have cell phone reception, not good if you have car trouble. Well off to bed, dog actually went out to do his business...mainly because he knows that is the only way he will get a biscuit.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Another Pair of Socks Finished and Yarn Ready to Go!!

Well here is how the llama yarn turned out, not plyed as tight as I like but after her ordeal she is looking not too bad, should make a pair or two of rustic looking fingerless mitts, when I was spinning this roving up I did not know whether I was going to like it but after I plyed it and set the twist I love it, it is sooo soft.......which is surprising after all it went through at my hands I tell you!! Each ply spun on different spinning wheels...then getting into a tangled mess when the bobbin on the spinning wheel fell apart......she is looking pretty good!

Finished another pair of socks last night and got little miss llama roving wound into a ball and although I could barely keep my eyes open (won't mention what time this was) I cast on and got started on the fingerless mitts, could not wait to see how she was going to knit up and am not disappointed, although I only have a few inches knit it is looking good. Have already started spinning some more of the llama/merino/soy silk roving and will see how it looks done properly....well I hope done properly...who knows...!!
    Well have a loaf of bread on the go in the bread maker, I enjoy making it by hand, you can start your day out right by taking any frustrations out on dough kneading but have decided to use my bread kneading time knitting. RH just informed me last night his wool gloves I knit him last year are toast and he needs a new never ends......better get a new pair started.....but want to knit on the fingerless mitts a bit first..then maybe I will cast on for the gloves.......It is -22 outside with a breeze so who knows what the chill factor is....the animals have not come out of the is a good day to stay inside and knit!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Poor Little Rosebud and the Spinning Mess!!

Here is what poor little rosebud looks like this morning, snow and blowing snow all night until noon today, drifts all over the place. finally the sky cleared and the sun came out for a bit but tonight it is -22.6. It just got too cold too fast.

Last night as I was spinning all of a sudden my electric spinning wheel just did not seem to have much power.....I thought maybe the power was low....hoping that was the problem and not the motor!! Off I went to make some supper and this morning I went down to see if I could see what the problem was, I had oiled the shaft but maybe that was the problem and I would oil it again.......while I was trying to take the bobbin off......there was my problem...the end had come off the bobbin!! O.K. breathing a sigh of relief that it was not the motor I took the bobbin off and started to wind the yarn onto a paper roll on my yarn winder.....and ended up with a real mess!! I finally had to cut the mess out and managed to get the rest of the yarn wound off the bobbin, RH came in from doing chores just as I was wishing I had a few more hands and lent a hand in getting things under control. Now I had a bobbin spun on my lendrum of this silk mixture and thought I would spin a bobbin on the electric spinner and then ply them together, hoping that it would ply up throw this messing about in the mix!! HopefullyI would end up with something I could use!!

                                                              Well got it plyed up and here is the result, did not look too bad after all this poor yarn had gone through. She has had her bath and is hanging on the shower rod drying. Tomorrow will tell the tale but I think it will turn out O.K.  I will make some fingerless mitts with it. Will spin some more of the roving tomorrow and hopefully get it to the plying stage without all the drama. Got the bobbin ends all glued on and hope they hold. Well the day is done and am off to bed.....tomorrow is another day!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Well...winter has hit with a Bang!!

 We went from a nice warm day to instant winter in a few hours and the really bad part was it rained first. I took this picture just before dark yesterday and it has snowed all day today, so we have quite a bit of snow and also had some wild wind and power outage overnight. Temps also dropped so it has been cold, animals were out grazing yesterday but did not see anyone out today, they stayed in the barn and munched hay. RH had a dentist appointment in the city yesterday but canceled it thank-goodness. I just stayed tucked in the house knitting socks and spinning some yarn  for fingerless mitts hopefully will finish spinning and get get it plied, ready to start knitting tomorrow .                                                                                                                            
Since  I took the picture of these socks I have finished them and knit one more sock and started its mate, hope to have at least four pair knit for the first market. Can not believe it is Thursday tomorrow........week is going to be gone before I know it!! Well.......time to put the needles away and off to bed, weatherman just said snow ending tomorrow but it is staying cold..............not used to this!! Little Miss Rosebud was wrong about us skipping winter....she is sitting out there with a covering of snow......trying to be brave.......

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Slowly making Progress!!

I bought this scratching thing for the cats, Was hoping Grey Kitty would use it instead of a post on the oak railing and it has worked...she has claimed it as you can see. It came with a pkg of catnip which she loves, if I forget to put a bit of catnip on it before I go to bed at night you should hear the howling. Now I thought both cats could use it but Sheba thinks it is beneath her to use it or even like the catnip and if Grey Kitty plays with the feather thing which has a bell on it, it annoys Sheba and she has to go smack Grey Kitty. They are just like human children.....

Finally have the sock order finished, all washed blocked and ready to go. Hopefully I can manage to get a few more pair knit in time for the next craft market, people have been complaining as I have no socks on my table......I am knitting as fast as I can!!  Have to get some more fleece sorted and off to the mill to get some more sock yarn spun up before I run out.  Quite nice out today so will try to get out to the garage and get some sorting fibre done. Took time to vacuum the house and repot one of the Christmas cactus that was looking pretty sad, don't think the soil in her pot was absorbing the water anymore, even though she looked like she was on her last legs she had flower buds coming out. I have four big plants and the other three are starting to bloom, can not get over how long a Christmas cactus lives, the one I got that was my Grandmothers must be thirty years old or more, the one that I inherited when my mother-in-law passed away has been around for ages. Keep thinking I should start some new plants off the old plants just incase I really have room for more plants?? 
As soon as I finished the sock orders I started on the fingerless mitts order, think I have five pair to do....better check on that. I had spun up some black Alpaca fibre a bit ago from our boy Blackberry, it is so silky and shiny you would think it was silk. Is hard to get a good picture so you can see the sheen on it, don't know whether all black alpaca is so silky but we have three animals that have the black silky fibre. Had some spun up at the mill in the spring mixed with merino and bamboo............I think it was bamboo....and it turned out so nice, have not knit with it yet. As soon as I finish this pair I will knit some of it up. Have to also get some llama fibre carded up and spun to knit the rest of the fingerless mitts ordered, they are for the same lady that ordered five pair from me a couple months ago and took them with her when she went to New york and gave them as gifts.

I finally figured out how to separate my pictures with text......sort of...instead of having to just pile my pictures in at the beginning of the post, I finally noticed that they had updated blogger with all sorts of new options so I updated......and then had a bit of a panic attack on how to use everything.....will not know if it worked until I post...will I?? Have been trying to get a website up and running and talk about using every brain cell I own!! but I am determined to do it.  I keep telling myself that I am exercising my brain. Well off to knit a bit!! It has been great with no distractions the last few days, RH is off helping son Tom lay stone tile on some of his floors and it has kept him so busy he has not had time to even phone me.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Miss Rosebud is still hanging in there!!

Here is little Miss Rosebud looking so cute, will have to call her November Rose. Should I make her a little shelter when the cold weather arrives which they are saying is Monday, there is another little bud sitting beside her.
I knit and then felted some wool hats a bit ago but thought they needed some decoration on them, have been crocheting flowers to put on them but I think I need to get some finer yarn, trying to decide if these flowers are too large for the hats. I had bought some fancy buttons a while ago to use in the centers but now can not find them, I should have some multicolored silk roving tucked away some where, will maybe spin up a bit of that tomorrow and see how that works for flowers. I am trying to curb my imagination as I have been thinking of crocheting small butterflies.....maybe some little lady bug put with the flowers.....think anyone would wear them?? a few of the hats are quite large so should toss them back in the washing machine to shrink them a bit more.
Tomorrow is the last day of the market, fingerless mitts are all sold and have one pair of socks left. Am almost finished the order for the five pair of socks and then have an order for five pair of fingerless mitts. Have two more Christmas markets before Christmas so will hopefully get something knit for them. Have a couple of neat items to knit after Christmas when it slows down a bit, am excited to start them!! Off to knit a bit on a sock and then off to bed............after I change all the clocks....better not forget to do that!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Still Knitting.......with Help!!

Finished a couple more pair of wristwarmers and started on another pair of really hard with my knitting partner.....every time I knit a stitch I lift her with my arm. Hard on the shoulder. But am slowly making progress. Tomorrow R.H. will go get the tent set up and everything ready for Friday morning. Weather has been so nice the last few days, we are hoping the wind stays away, last year it was warm but the wind was so bad they could not set anything up on the Thursday, people that did get their tents up came back in the morning and everything had blown away so hoping it is not a rerun this year. Well have put down the knitting needles for the night and off to bed, up early tomorrow and reskein some yarn I washed and get everything tagged and packed to go

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Does this mean we are skipping winter this year??

Well here I am again, just can not seem to get my blog updated regularly, could this be a senior problem or just too much going on. when I looked out the window the other day I noticed my rose bush who said good-bye, see you in the spring and popped out rose hips all of a sudden has a couple of rose buds, just read in the local paper that the crocus's have come out.....does this mean spring is on the way and we are not having winter this year, sounds good to me. Weather has been sunny and warm the last few days, still have a few flowers struggling along giving some color out there.
What have I been doing??.....knitting...what else, can not seem to get caught up, just had a lady phone ordering five more pair of alpaca socks and I have an order for at least five pair of wristwarmers before Christmas. The Christmas markets start this weekend and I do not have much to put on the tables as I sold all summer at the farmers markets, thank goodness friend Gabie and daughter M.J. will have items to fill the table. Better get a couple of dye pots going today so yarn will be dry enough for the market and get the carder going for some more roving. When I hear people complaining they are bored and have nothing to do am tempted to hand them some knitting needles and some yarn. Also have been trying to get a website up and going, always running into road blocks, next time I have a question on how to do something I will have to remind them to answer in language understandable by a senior citizen. This website is really using up brain cells fast I tell you, had a ahha moment a few minutes ago on a couple things I was having problems with and fixed it up, will get there eventually. Have to get some fibre pictures on this blog next time, keep forgetting to take pictures.