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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Finally in the new House!!

Well we are in the house finally and so glad as the weather has really turned cold, it was getting a little uncomfortable in the little holiday trailer. They had scheduled the basement to be finished and the new house moved out the end of September.......well that did not happen...we discovered we had the contractor from hell...do not know where he found some of the guys he sent out to do the work, when they came to work, when they ever finished anything...this is the fourth house we have built and this was the simplest basement and I have never seen such a mess...the only way we finally got it finished so the house could be moved on was to not pay him any more money until things were done. I could write a book on the problems we had with him. This is the house arriving in the yard.

And here it is being moved onto the foundation

And here it sits, will look better when we get the deck built and the stone down around the basement windows but now winter is here that will have to wait until spring, RH built a temporary step up to the back door and that is what we will use for the winter. Right now we are finishing the barn for the llama and alpaca girls and have to pull the shelter we had for them over for the males.
Here we are putting the trusses on the barn, son Tom and Grandson Zach came out to help on a weekend.
I will have to get out and get some new pictures as we have it all sheeted in and ready to put the metal roofing and siding on it. Hoping we get some nice weather so we can finish it, the girls have already moved in, we should have had it finished but spent so much time trying to get the house stuff finished. Now we are in the house we are moving our furniture home from storage...we moved from a large house to this little house and we are trying to fit things in..not easy. Plus...where are all my plants going to live...right now they are crowded into the rooms we were going to use as a spare bedroom and a T.V. computer room.  Will work it out somehow!! Well am off to bed, blogger is not co-operating tonight and I am getting tired of fighting with it.
  

Thursday, September 1, 2011

WELL...WE PACKED.....WEMOVED...WE STARTED UNPACKING....THEN WE PACKED UP AGAIN.......

I has been a while since I posted, we got everything packed up and moved from our old place and moved down the smaller place and started to unpack....but then looked around and this house which was a modular without a basement needed a lot of work and we had to make a decision whether to spend the money doing all the repairs and still having a modular house that is thirty years old and we would have the problem the previous owners had of trying to sell it later on down the road. At the time we got a flyer advertizing our local RTM (ready to move houses) houses that we had already been looking at when we were looking at places to move put all their last years show homes on sale. So......we purchased one of their houses.....we are great recyclers so we recycled the modular home, a young couple who are just starting out took the modular for just the cost of moving it, they had land but no house.

  The big problem we had to give a lot of thought to, we had the guy that moves the old house off and the guy that moves the new house come and see how we could manage to do all this moving on and off with out taking down too many trees. The trees when they were young were planted too close together so there were some of the trees that were really suffering, so we managed to take out a few of the bad one's and not feel too bad and hopefully the other trees will enjoy the extra space, when I counted just around the house there were more than fifty, fifty foot evergreen trees, so they were really crowded. The trees were put on the back of the property and they will also be recycled into firewood.

So we moved out to a small holiday trailer..........two of us...two cats and a dog.....litter pan in the tub....cat scratching thing under the table..dog kennel squeezed in between the bed and the wall...laptop...T.V. etc. etc. and all our stuff stored in storage...seacan...garage..most of my plants are in the small room on the side of the garage and are doing surprisingly well!! The african violets were in the holiday trailer but when we had to move into it they moved out to a friends house that is empty at the moment, most of them are doing not bad considering.....RH thought he was doing me a favor and watered them for me......he thinks when you water things you drown them......so there are a few that are struggling.


As the people that lived here before us were moving into a condo they left their outside cat here, well I was more than concerned what would happen when our Jack Russell Maxx met him for the first time plus our inside cat girls like to go out in the morning for a few minutes, what were we going to do.....the resident cat was this big black cat with big yellow eyes. So the first morning we were here out went the dog and here came the cat.......Black Cat looked at the dog and the dog looked at him....then Black cat said "Hi Dog...do you want to be my friend?....and Maxx the dog looked at him and said"O.K." What a relief I tell you. Here they are waiting for Dad to come home. We could not find out what the Black Cats name was so I gave him a new name......Batman!! He keeps the yard and garage free of mice and gophers, what a hunter he is, we are so grateful as we have so much stuff in the garage, so he gets special treats and pats.

At first the house cats would run inside and spit at him through the screen, and then they got braver and would walk up to him and spit in his face...and he would just walk away. And then...Sheba who has a bit of Siamese in her background has started chasing him out of the yard and then strutting back to the house as smart as can be. I have never seen such a mild mannered cat, specially when we were the ones that moved into his space, for some reason he was happy to have animal friends.
    Then here is the picture of the house leaving the property, with me holding my breath as I was sure it was going to tumble off the truck but it made it safe and sound, the picture I did not get was the face of poor Maxx, poor little dog as he watched the only house on the place leaving. have promised him we will not move again in his lifetime.
  Now they have the basement dug and the footings poured and hopefully if the weather stays nice they will have the forms up for the walls and the cement poured, and when that is all finished it will be time for them to move the new house on. If everything goes good we could be in the house before the end of September. Meanwhile we are starting to build the llama barn.
   Now I have been trying to write this post for days but was having trouble with the internet, it would be up then would disappear...now I should not be surprised as RH took the internet thingy off the house just before they put the house on the truck and had to cut the line where it went into the house and then he spiced all the little wires together and taped them good and the internet thingy if now sitting on a lawn chair so we forgive it for being so temperamental. Only thing I have been doing fibre wise is knitting a few socks and fingerless handwarmers. Just got the fibre I carded and pulled into roving before we moved, from the storage place, have to get it weighed out and bagged next week ready for the fall sales. We are hoping for a long warm fall.




Saturday, June 18, 2011

Only Nine Days Left!! Almost Finished Packing!!

I am still here but have been busy packing up the house for the big move.  Only have nine more days to get everything ready to go. The weather has helped the packing as it has been raining steady so am not tempted to be outside at all. Have not been that well so it is pack a bit and rest a bit, trying to pace myself. Have been having trouble with my Gall Bladder, why were humans blessed with such a thing if all it does is cause you grief. Ended up in emergency one Sunday and spent the afternoon on a drip getting re-hydrated, now have an appointment with the surgeon this coming Wednesday. Just kept hoping to hold off surgery until we got moved and looks like I will make it. So far so good. Another couple of days and everything will be all boxed up and then I can start doing some cleaning. We have moved a lot of stuff into storage so will not have that much to move on moving day, the hardest thing was to move all my fibre stuff out of my sight, still have not been able to move my spinning wheels and carder......I am afraid it will be in the car with me as I go....same with my sewing machines......is my car large enough......two spinning wheels...my big carder.....four sewing machines.....two cats....one dog.....All my houseplants??........ maybe I should be taking the truck and stock trailer. I think it will take more than one trip. The other problem....moving from a large house to a smaller house....will have to work it out. Good thing is the outside animals can stay here until we get the fences and a barn up.
   I have been doing a bit of knitting. Loved this sweater pattern and it only came as a kit with acrylic yarn which I am using. Would like to make it in a natural fibre.


Got the back finished and part of a front, just get the pattern going in my head and then have to set it aside for a bit,

Also have been knitting fingerless gloves, when I knit them for sale I like to just use the rib as it fits more sizes being so stretchy, just finished my fourth pair, in my packing I found a few balls of Kroy sock wool so thought I would knit it up into the fingerless mitts, don't need to follow a pattern so are an easy knit.

Here is one of the flowers on my large Hoya plant, it was just covered with flowers the other day, was so busy with the packing almost missed them, sneaky plant.
   Well better get myself off to bed, RH is off to the market tomorrow, yup we are trying to fit the markets into the moving etc. We are really getting too old for all this!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Another month almost gone!! Have been carding Alpaca fibre and digging in the dirt!!

I can not believe it has almost been a month since I have posted!! Where has the time gone.....packing up the house to move that is what...how can I have so much stuff!! I am beginning to think that in my life time there is no way I can use all this stuff. I see a lot of garage sales in the future and.......large gift bags for Christmas....and do not say I did not warn you!! Besides sorting and packing things up I have been carding my alpaca fibre like crazy as you know...I just might run out of roving to spin and yarn to knit with and that would be a disaster I tell you. I have got all the white alpaca and llama fibre carded and pulled into roving. Jody wanted to see the process so I took a few pictures and it was hard to take pictures while I took the roving off the drum but here it is

The drum full of fibre

Starting at one side pulling some of the fibre through the diz creating the roving

Almost finished pulling the roving off the drum

And here is my roving ready to spin!! Love the Patrick Green Supercard! now to find the time to get the tan colored alpaca carded with some merino and silk, found I had a bag of tan cashmere (found all sorts of goodies while packing) and I might card a bit of that with the tan alpaca and see how it turns out. Don't know how long it will be before I get my workroom set up so am trying to get as much as I can carded before we move. Plus we will start shearing the llamas and alpacas next week so would be nice to get last years carded, shearing should have been done but with selling this place and finding somewhere else to live and packing time has gotten away from us.
   And finally the snow has disappeared and green grass is showing up!! Look what I found in the pasture!! I think this means spring is here finally!!

I could not believe it...Crocus's!! One day they are not there and the next day the fields are full of them! It just amazes me, they are so beautiful, when the sun was just going down when you looked down the hill the crocus were sparkling like jewels. Beautiful!! I spent today potting up the plants I am going to take with me, I have been storing them in one spot in the garden. When I look at my raised beds it is all I can do not to plant them but have to keep reminding myself the people that move in can plant them.
   Well am off to bed, had an enjoyable day digging in the dirt in the sun all day today even though knees are aching and feet hurt right now.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Where does the time go!!

I can not believe that it is already the 22nd of April!! I have lost a couple of weeks somewhere!! But we have been busy, we have had our farm for sale for the last year and never had one call from anyone, we were not in a hurry but wanted to downsize in the future. Well a couple of weeks ago we had a couple of out of province call and were coming to see our place and the same weekend we had another couple phone and want to come out. The second couple wanted to buy so that is what we have been doing, we have been back and forth to the lawyer getting everything signed etc. and then have been madly looking around for somewhere for us to move to. The places we had liked were already sold and the couple we liked the area and the houses as presented on the web but when we went to look at them( pictures are deceiving)....one I think will have to be demolished and the other one had a disaster of a floor plan. We kept coming back to this other place but hesitating as the house had no basement and the question was...can we downsize that much....   but the good thing was there are no neighbors right next door except for the ones in the cemetery across the road from us and I am sure we are not going to have a problem with them because of our animals, might have to make a little suit for our Jack Russell Maxx if he insists on attending funerals. We will have to build barns and put up safe fences but the people that have bought our place have no problem with us keeping our Llamas and Alpacas here until we get fences up. It is going to take some time until I get the garage set up for my work room so this month I will be busy sorting fibre and carding fibre to carry me over until I get a work space.
    Meanwhile back on the ranch this is what my garden area still looks like!!! We have had eight inches of wet snow twice lately and the temps have not been that warm so it is not disappearing that fast.

We have never had this much snow out here in April, when we get down off the hill the snow is almost gone but we must have our own weather up here. The little birds have been fighting over the nesting boxes, hope they wait until warmer weather to lay their eggs. have been putting out seed bells for them as they are so hungry, with all the snow cover is hard for them to find food.
   As I can not get out in the yard I have been busy carding my Llama and Alpaca fibre, mixing it with different wools. Cleaned up the carder so I could get some white carded, is a job getting all the black and grey fibres out of the carder, so while I have the white run going am going to try to card most of it then work my way down the other colors.


The grey I carded before starting on the white and I mixed some superwash Merino wool with it, the white I wanted to mix superwash Merino and silk with it but I had the Alpaca fibre washed and dehaired at a mill and the alpaca was so soft and fine it broke it down a bit so have carded it with a longer staple wool and it is working out great. mixed some with some BFL I had and then some with some Corriedale wool roving I had, wanted to get the white all carded up but think I am going to run out of wool to mix with it. Although I have some cream colored llama fibre that mixes well with the merino/silk. And...we still have to try to get our animals sheared before we move.......we have a lot of challenges ahead of us......we have done it before but we are a bit older now.

For some reason my Christmas Cactus are still blooming...maybe it could be the snow they see out the windows???

Love this plant as it is the original plant of my Grandmother's and must be well over fifty years old, I better start some new ones from it just incase. The flowers are so beautiful. The other problem when we move is where am I going to put all my plants!!

I also have about twenty-five African Violet plants too, they need to be repotted which means when I am done there will be more, some have formed extra plants in their pots, so glad it is going to be warm when we move.
   Have not even had time to wash and block my sweater. Everything should be final of the sale of the place next week so will hopefully get back to the fibre thing as it is going to take some time to dry up for me to get in the flowerbeds and then I better start packing!!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Here she is.......almost finished...with my Sanity intact...I think??

Well we had another big snow storm, lots of snow and blowing snow to replace the snow drifts RH had just cleared away so he is at it again but this time the temps are up so snow is wet and heavy. Hopefully this is our last big snowfall!! Am more than ready for green grass and my flowers!!


On the weekend when the snow was coming down and wind howling I decided to just ignore the weather and get the sweater finished no matter what, what a knitting adventure I tell you!! As the gauge they had for the sweater did not work I had to figure out how many inches they got with their gauge and add extra rows as I went along hoping I would have a wearable sweater for someone, is really hard when you are working on so many stitches but I got it finished up to the shoulders and then picked up the stitches to knit all the way around the sweater opening to make the shawl collar and finish down the fronts and cast off and could not believe it almost fit, right now is a bit snug around the hip area but we will see after I get it washed and blocked, I did make it a bit longer than the pattern said so that could be the problem. The pattern was designed to be open with a tie belt but I am going to put a zipper in up to where the shawl collar starts. love the shawl collar. What a great feeling to finish it and see that it all came together!! Just have to get all the ends woven in and get it blocked.I just noticed the picture looks a bit out of proportion at the angle I took it, will have to get a better picture when it is blocked.
At one of the Christmas markets I ordered a yarn pot from a potter who had his table there and I just picked it up the other day and I love it! It works so great, now am not having my ball of yarn rolling all over the place. Used it when I was finishing the sweater. Pot is heavy enough it will not move unless you move it, he put two holes in it so I could put two small balls of wool in it if I was knitting with two colors.....I think...will have to try it.


No flowers outside right now but the African violets in the house are making up for it, could not believe the bloom on this plant, does this mean spring flowers are just around the corner......but then the Christmas cactus also have blooms on them.......who can I believe??????

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sanity Hanging by a Thread!!

Finally after over a week of can not see in front of your face fog we have sunshine and warmer temps, hope this is a sign spring is just around the corner. When we have fog that thick we have very week internet service or none at all, yesterday we had the sun come out for a bit but our power was off and on so much we had no internet. Now today hopefully everything is working again.
    Now to the Gallatin Sweater...........this is where I am now.

I had knit the sleeve without pattern but then decided it was too plain so I ripped it back and put a pattern in then knit what tan wool I had waiting for more that I had ordered, when the yarn came it was a different dye lot so I knit one row of dark brown just incase it would show the difference and now I am ready to knit the white with some pattern in it, now it has pattern in the back and on each front....................I am going to be juggling eight balls of yarn ...............yup....trying hard to keep my sanity!! plus have to figure out how many rows to knit as I am not getting gauge, so I have counted all the rows they knit on the pattern and figured out how many inches they got with their rows per inch etc. etc. hoping I am on the right track, if this sweater fits it is going to be a miracle. If I make this again it will be in pieces, if I had knit this one in pieces I could have completed a front and seen whether it was going to fit rather than do the whole sweater and then find it does not fit.  Will be so glad to get it finished!!


Meanwhile have been carding some alpaca fibre and llama fibre and pulling it into roving. The grey is the alpaca and I carded it with some grey superwash merino and the brown is the llama carded with the same grey superwash merino, it is so soft, can not wait to spin it up.  Have lots of fibre to card up, love my Patrick Green Supercard!!

This is my kitty T.V. I hung a seed bell right outside the window so the cats can sit and watch the birds, the cats are so brave when they have the glass between them, they sit there chattering at the birds but if I let them outside they are afraid of the birds which is o.k. by me.
   Well here is hoping I can post this as I have been having a terrible time getting the pictures onto the site which means my internet is not that fast yet. Hopefully this is goodbye snow and hello spring!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spinning and Knitting!!

The weather has warmed up a bit so have been out in the garage sorting some white llama fibre to wash before sending it to the processors. Fingers were frozen by the time I had enough fibre in the wash bags but got it done as it is soaking in the washer. I wanted to card some fibre down in the workroom but it is so dry down there the fibre is flying all over so thought if I wash some fibre and have it on the rack it will give me enough humidity.
     Meanwhile I plyed the singles I finished spinning last night from the roving I got for Christmas from daughter M.J. For the first bobbin I spun I had just divided the roving into two but was getting long stretches of white so the next bobbin I divided the other half of the roving into two before I spun it and the colors worked better, but who knows what it will look like knit up. She has been washed and is now drying. Out of the 220/4oz roving I have 290 yds of yarn, now to look at a few patterns and decide what to knit out of it....thinking of a lacey scarf....will see. 

Now onto the Gallatin Sweater..............I managed to find a size six small round needle to knit the sleeves in the round, had to borrow it from something else I was knitting, so got the sleeve knit putting the same pattern as on the bottom of the sweater on the bottom of the sleeve, I had decided to knit the sleeves in the tan color with no more pattern but when I went to wind another ball of tan into a ball found I only had one ball left, not enough tan color to finish the sweater but had a lot of the natural color so knit the remainder of the sleeve in the natural......am deciding whether I like that or not.........finally I went onto Raverly to check and see if anyone else was knitting this sweater and if it was only me that was having problems........17 people knitting the sweater........

Ravelry: Project Gallery for Gallatin Coat pattern by Nina Isaacson      everyone is having problems and unless they had ordered more yarn they were short too......so have decided that I will knit up what tan yarn I have and have ordered more of the tan yarn to finish the sweater. It can have a little time out while I am waiting for more yarn. I am also having gauge issues with the rows per inch...and so are other people.  I had increased a few rows in the length as I went along for the body but have been concerned with the arm length. I have been making notes as I go along as I really like this sweater and the yarn they used in the kit so would like to knit another one......who knows who this one will fit when I am finished.
    I know this is crazy...........but I did control myself...........when the workmen came to replace the shingles on the house yesterday (that the wild wind blew off a couple weeks ago) one of the workmen was wearing a sweater knit with the heavy yarn with neat patterns on it...........I don't know whether it was that it was so cold out.........or I quickly regained sanity...........but I put down my pencil and graft paper and went into the other room............I really wanted to go out and quickly copy the patterns he had on his sweater............What can I say........there are enough stories going around about the crazy lady who lives on the hill...........but you know.....if it had not been so cold out.........

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Does this look like Spring to you??

It looks like Christmas to me!! All my Christmas cactus are in bloom. It is -20 here right now but the sun is shining so you can fool yourself into believing it is warmer. We were supposed to get a warm day during the last week but do not know who got it as we didn't. Hurry up Spring!!

I have the Gallatin Coat from KnitPicks knit up to where the sleeves are supposed to join and then you finish the sleeves as you knit the yokes. The owl chart knit up fast as it was a non-directional pattern, it is just really heavy when you are knitting the back and fronts together, hard on the back. I started a sleeve which is knit in the round on four double points, got the cuff finished and just realized I have to change to size 6mm needles and do not have any in the house (that I can find) so do I continue with the 5.5mm needles or wait until I can get somewhere to buy some 6mm needles, trying to think of somewhere near that would have needles that I do not have to drive over an hour to buy them.......what would happen.....if I just increased a few more stitches to make the gauge....am off to measure the difference in my knit gauge between the 5.5mm and the 6mm needles. I changed the pattern in the sleeves as I think the original pattern is just too busy for me, makes just too much going on in the sweater, so will match the sleeves to the bottom of the sweater past the first pattern knit and then knit in plain stocking stitch in the dark tan.  Anyway....that is the plan...will see as I knit along. Off to measure the gauge difference between 5.5mm needles and 6mm needles.
 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Do I need this stress....isn't the weather enough stress!!

One more day and then it is the month of March....please let the weather get warmer...hopefully spring is not far away. It has been so cold, we had a warm day last week...or was it the week before?...I am hanging onto my sanity by a thread!! O.K....the warm day...the wind arrived...not a breeze...nope could not have a nice breeze...hurricane force winds!! First we heard something whopping on the north side of the house.......soffiting is loose on the peak of the roof....then the noise on the roof and there go the shingles...into the siding on the back of the garage...damaging the siding...well we better phone and leave a message with the insurance agent so we will be first in line to have the appraiser out. He came out and now we have to wait until warmer weather so we get the repairs done. We went to town the next day and there were trucks and trailers in the ditches all along the highway.
   I had purchased this sweater kit from Knitpicks before Christmas and decided to get it out and knit on it taking a break from the colorwork hats. I do not know if it is just me but I have a terrible time with their patterns. The sweater, they call the Gallatin Coat has a cute shawl type collar which I loved when I seen it, the sweater is knit all in one, no side seams which is O.K. but with the heavy yarn it is really heavy to manage while you are knitting. They had a chart with a deer to knit around the body and as I wanted to use some of my Alpaca yarn to knit another sweater later I thought I would chart out a llama and knit it into this sweater. so charted out the llama and knit a swatch and could see where a couple stitches should be changed. . O.K this is great and away I went with my knitting............the first llama faces the front.....then the second llama is reversed to face center back........and then the next llama is knit facing the llama on the back...and then the next llama in the pattern is turned around again to face the front.........now is it my brain or what...this is bloody hard to keep track of!!!!!! Now if the fronts and back were knit separately this would not be that bad but when you have 146 stitches on your needle in thick heavy yarn.... and you are trying to manage four separate small balls of yarn for each pattern along each row......now I do not give up very often but after knitting and ripping back I have finally decided my life is too short and my back is aching....so have decided I love owls and they have a chart for an owl that is not directional so that is what is going on the sweater!! And I knit the first two rows without a problem. I am not giving up on the llamas and am plotting out how I will knit them into a sweater as I work on knitting the owls into this one. One solution would be to knit the sweater body in three pieces or another thought just came to me...maybe the solution would be to put llamas on the front and another non-directional pattern on the back. I also had a problem with the chart for the band across the bottom and I finally added one more row to the chart and charted out my own pattern. now I read ahead to the directions on how they knit the sleeves......the sleeves are knit in the round....and then are attached and knit up with the front and back yokes.......we will see when I get to that point. I normally do not have a problem following a pattern...so is it the pattern.....or is it the senior moment of my life...I am blaming it on the winter weather we have had this year....that is my story and I am sticking to it!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

There she is Finished...we will say good bye to her!!



O.K. here she is all finished and blocked!! Before I washed and blocked her "Majesty" Miss Andean Chullo Hat she just seemed too long and bulky but when washed and blocked she settled down a bit and hung down nicely at the back, before that she could not decide what she wanted to do and ended up just sticking half way inbetween, but still am thinking I might take a pattern out, but love them all the way they are....we will see on the next one, but for sure will not make the I-cord so long on the top of the hat before the tassel is put on. The thing I will change is the ear flaps, they are too long so will just shorten them up by one pattern. have already started another hat and have been trying to tighten up the stitches  around the outside of edge of the ear flap as it was hard to attach the i-cord properly. This time I will organize the pattern instructions a bit and hopefully not have to do so  much ripping back with this one. I had so much trouble with 


matching the yarn to the colors on the chart.....the color for the deep purple looked navy on the chart, think I have it sorted out. so she has had enough time on the blog so will get at something else!! But this stranded knitting is addicting so will keep a project on the go taking residence on the end of the table ready to suck me in. I also got the yarn in the natural shades of brown, tan and creams to knit the hat and I better get organized on that one I tell you, if I thought all these colors were a problem....the natural shades could be a nightmare.

  





Now to sorting fibre to go to the mill to be made into roving, this is Black Mommy Alpacas fleece and it did not matter what light I took a picture under it turned out this grey color and it is black! black! I was trying to get a picture of the crimp in it but was hard, she has the softest crimpy fibre, now the decision is what male to bred her to this spring so her baby has this same great fibre. All her fibre is washed and cleaned of debris and in a bag ready to go. now onto the white llama fibre. Warm weather has moved in so I can get out to the workshop and do some sorting and get it washed up too. I am sure I washed up some llama fibre last fall ready to ship....or was I just dreaming I did?? Will have to go have a look. should have had this all done and ready to go but with all our super cold weather there was no way to work out in the shop. Hoping this is the beginning of spring...I am dreaming aren't I???

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Almost finished my Alpaca Hat!!

We had a few nice days and are now back to overcast and snow, spring can not come soon enough, although spring means working outside and I do not have all my fleece sorted to go to the mill to be processed. Did get a large bag of Alpaca away to the local mill in between snowstorms but have to get the rest ready to go, this mill likes to have it washed once so better get the washer full this morning of some black alpaca from Black Mommy, she has beautiful fibre with a nice crimp to it. Now baby Bella, am wondering is my life is long enough to get her fibre ready to be processed it is so full of stuff (nice way of saying crap). It will be shearing season again before I know it so better get last years tended to.
   Now the "Hat" almost finished, am just knitting the I-cord finish around the bottom which is sucking up a large portion of my time right now, I think a person has to figure out how to do a more stable edge for the bottom as this yarn is a bit fragile, will have to think on that for the next hat. now this hat is really long....I mean really long....I think it is meant to flop over and hang down at the back, the ear flaps also seem too long. Someone on Ravelery has made this hat and she said she would take some charts out when she knit it again as she found it way too big and I agree with her but for my first one I thought I would follow the pattern as it was and then make changes when I knit the next. now my views on how the pattern was written, they give you pattern choices to put in each section, love the chart patterns but....and this might be just me...the pattern is so fragmented...there is a bit on one page... then you have to go searching to find what comes next and then find you have missed some directions and have to rip back, plus I would cut little snippets from the yarn and tape them next to the color squares as you are always getting mixed up. I have a hard time knitting when I am in a state of confusion on what comes next and have to search for it...so will be writing the pattern out the way I want to knit it for the next hat. I know I keep saying the next hat but I will be knitting another one because I love knitting stranded knit and really if I had kept track of the time I spent actually knitting it was not that long, could not really knit at night as it was hard to see the color changes but I think if I organized it properly with the color snippets that would not be a problem. This is the first time I have knitted I-cord right onto an item and they have you knit the I-cord for three inches for the tassel on the earflap then you increase a few stitches and leave half the stitches on a holder and continue around knitting the I-cord along the bottom and then when you get to the end you graft the stitches to the stitches on the holder. (Hope you understand this) what I was a bit miffed at was they did not say anything in the instructions about how to proceed when you got to the second earflap (or maybe I have not found it yet) but I just knit off to a I-cord to match the one on the other earflap after I had increased and left half the stitches to be picked up to continue around. So that is where I am now and hopefully will finish it today. Am actually looking forward to starting on another one.if this one is just too large for me to wear.....I will stuff it and use it as a decorative cushion!! While I was knitting the "hat" I also knit five pair of slipper socks and another hat I had started a bit ago. Well am off to finish the I-cord and get the directions organized for another one.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

O.K. Finally got the heads on the Alpacas!!



I have been sorting fleece to take to the mill so have not knit much on the hat, it just kept sitting there on the table tempting me. Have the fleece sorted and bagged ready to go so could knit a bit tonight. Finally knit the heads on the Alpacas after they sat headless for days, they really are strange looking Alpacas...but they have heads. Then I am knitting on another pattern, they give you choices of different pattern charts to use so chose this one but now am thinking it is almost too dark......although if the bottom was not rolled up it is dark too...soooo....the decision is....should I rip it out and put in a different chart or use the same chart and use different colors...or this would be the better choice....just continue on.....I think there is enough yarn included in the kit to be able to make three hats by changing the colors around so...I think I am going to continue on and not rip out. In a way I wish they had not had all these different patterns for a person to chose from, if they just gave you a pattern to knit for the first hat....of course this is assuming that a person will knit more than one hat......and then had patterns you could use if you did not like what they had chosen.  Hopefully you are following all my giberish...it is after midnight and my brain is starting to shut down. When I finish the last two rows on this pattern (assuming after I have slept on it I have not decided to rip it out) I only have one small pattern to go and then I start decreasing while I am doing the crown pattern. I am enjoying knitting this hat and think I will be starting another one as soon as this one is completed. I did get the yarn in natural colors to knit some hats from this pattern too, and if I thought some of the colors were close together on this hat......can only imagine how confusing it is going to be in the natural shades. Next time in the colors and natural colors I will really make sure I organize my colors better before I start...and I will also read the pattern instructions this time...almost finished the hat and when I read all the instructions I noticed that I was supposed to knit two rows of color "A" between patterns. Well better figure out who is color "A" before I start the next hat......am off to bed...will be making decisions in my sleep I am sure.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I am still working at the hat!!

I am still knitting at the hat, actually looking at the picture now I have knit quite a bit, once I get the big alpacas knit I only have two small patterns to knit and then I start on the crown which is in pattern while I am decreasing, there has been a fair bit of ripping back which takes as long to rip as it does to knit, not because of stitches being wrong it is mainly because I get carried away and forget to change the back ground color which would not be bad and I could leave it but the back ground for the larger Alpacas each color is four rows and if I have two many or too few it really shows up. one thing I should have done and will do with the next hat (did you hear the phase...next hat...someone please lock me up) is cut pieces off the yarns and match them to the colors before I start as they do not match the colors on the charts and a few in the ball are really close in color and it isn't until you have knit a row or two you realize it was not the color you should have used. so there has been a bit of ripping back. Don't you love those little pink Alpacas!! They are so cute. can only knit so long on it or my eyes go crossed. So in between I have been knitting socks. I find the cleaning and cooking etc. just takes too much time away from my knitting!! Am off to bed. Thanks everyone for the great comments.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What Have I been doing??

Can not believe it has been that long since I have posted....what have I been doing...besides suffering from this sinus thing left over from the cold I had at Christmas. We are finally getting some warmer temperatures but with it wind and blowing snow, we have had a couple days of welcome sun. RH had just dug a path for the female llamas and alpacas to get from the barn out to pasture and after today will have to do it again, although it is warm enough he can maybe get the bobcat going and not have to do it by hand, girls were sure happy to out sunning themselves. O.K. this is what I have been up to

I did get some of the roving spun, I had separated it into two lengthwise but after spinning for a while am thinking I should have split it a couple more times as I am getting long stretches of white but will keep spinning this bobbin the same, had weighted out the roving so I hopefully will have close to the same on yardage on both bobbins and am thinking of splitting the other length for the second bobbin a couple more times before I spin it and see whether it gives me a bit more color. We will see. Should have had it all spun but got carried away knitting other things......

Made up a couple of kids hats and a few kids mitts, am not a mitt knitter but decided to just get at it and become a mitt knitter, there are so many other more interesting things to knit, maybe if I put some pattern or colorwork in the mitt knitting it would become more interesting....hmmmm   we will see, made up one of the sheep hats but yarn was a little thicker than I usually use so might have to rip it back a bit on the top and shorten it a bit, had not made one for ages as the last session of doing a couple large orders of these hats I could not even look at the pattern for a while. I found a pattern for crocheted hats so crocheted a few to see how they turned out, had planned on making a childs hat but it turned out larger than they said so fits an adult so will have to do a bit of adjusting. Also crocheted a few flowers, trying to decide whether to put flowers on the hats.  Then I got at what I have been wanting to knit........




Have not knit this much colorwork for years but loved this hat, some of the colors are so close I end up knitting along not seeing that the color has changed, took me ages to knit the ear flaps, don't know how many times I ripped out and started again. I ordered the kit from Knit Picks and the yarn in the kit was Palette which is a fingering weight and is very loosely spun which at first I did not like but now am realizing why it is loosely spun as when you are knitting
with the yarn and moving it around to change colors you put more twist into it. Now if I was a picker when I knit and not a thrower it would go a lot faster....that is another thing I am going to learn to do, colorwork would knit a lot faster. Right now have to rip a bit back as I should not knit at night when I need to change colors, knit a couple of rows before I noticed there was a color change, some of the colors are so close at night it is hard to see when they change....now I had considered just leaving it as the color is really my choice.....right??.....but after sleeping on it have decided I will rip the rows back and reknit it and smack myself a couple of times to remind self to check the color before starting a row. I find the hardest part is starting a new pattern, once I make sure the first row of pattern is correct you can follow it and it goes fast. It is addicting, I have it on the end of the kitchen table so I do not have any cat help and I keep getting sucked over to it when I should be doing something else....pots are boiling over on the stove...dogs are left on the step wanting to come in etc. etc.......and I really have to get the fibre together to take to the mill or I will not get it in to the alpaca run they do and I will have to wait until fall. Well off to get at the rest of the day...........will try not to spend the whole day knitting on the hat.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Finished my socks!!

 Here are the finished socks, I love them, they are my favorite colors!! Almost hate to wear them...maybe I will frame them and hang them on the wall........no I will wear them and have toasty feet, weatherman says cold weather arriving again. Meanwhile have started another project, one of my little sheep hats but I think I have sockitis as I have knit so many of these hats and here I am making mistakes and then ripping out, but it has been a while, I think the problem is I should enlarge the pattern a bit so I can read it while knitting and" of course" my problem could not be this cat that insists on sitting on me while I am knitting.....and the angrier I get at her the suckier she looks at me all the time purring, she has made me a little crazy tonight.
Now my next project is going to be spinning this roving my daughter M.J. gave me for Christmas and it also from The Yummy Yarn Studio. Love it, can not wait to see what it looks like spun up. Spent the day yesterday putting all the Christmas stuff away and sorting shelves in the storage room, now have things piled in the middle of the floor to sort and deal with before I can get at the spinning. Have to discipline myself. No spinning until things are cleaned up. Well am off to bed, this day is done!! And the cat is not coming with me!!