Sunday, March 29, 2009

Planning the Transactions of the Day

He, who every morning plans the 
transactions of the day, and follows that 
plan carries a thread that will guide him 
through a labyrinth of the most busy life"
- Victor Hugo 

I saw this quote and have decided I need to start following Victor Hugo's advice, and in the morning plan the transactions of my day.  I have an aversion to making lists, why I am not sure, but I'm beginning to realize that life is becoming overwhelming and perhaps I need to become a list maker.  It's especially becoming necessary as Moonlight and Laughter is becoming more succesful and I am making more sales.  So my new resolution is to get up every morning, plan the transactions of my day, and then accomplish at least one thing on that list.  If I put make coffee on every list I will have reached my goal every day.  I think that's a good plan.

I am also working on getting my samples for the April Phat Fiber box together.  This month the theme is Green, either the color or ecologically green.  I am doing a little bit of both and planning to send in more samples, as are other contributors, so perhaps more people can receive boxes and there will be more happy customers.

Suzanne just arrived to knit so I have to go.  She's having a granny square crisis.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Temporarily Interrupted

This blog will be temprarily interrupted while I get over an obnoxious cold.  My eyes are very sore, and looking at the computer screen makes it worse.  And aside from that I imagine there won't be any scintillating things occuring as I am lying in bed.  I guess I could tell you how many boxes of tissues I've used, or how cute the cats look sleeping curled up against my legs and making me think I'm paralyzed when I wake up and can't turn over because there is a 12 pound weight on either side of me. But not much of fibery interest will be happening.  I must be sick because I don't even feel like knitting.

Here is one of those cats who like to sleep next to me, Gerard.  He was helping me weigh roving one day.

And here is a picture of a summer sunset to help us remember what is coming soon.

I'll be back shortly.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pistachio Cake

Today is a beautiful, sunny day and the temperature is supposed to get up to 52 degrees.  I'll believe it when I see (or feel) it.  How is it possible that it is already the 24th of March?  Time sure does fly, even when one is not necessarily having fun.

I am waiting for the arrival of Eloise who is coming to Massena to go to knitting at the library.  She is coming at a fortuitous time for Conor who is taking his road test today.  (Please say prayers for me in my hour of need, and in the days and weeks to come.)  I own a Mercury Grand Marquis (It was my parents car, and when my van died they gave it to me), which is not the car I would want to take a road test in.  I've been driving for 40 years (that makes me sound really old, as does owning a Grand Marquis) and I still don't try to parallel park that thing.  The good thing about Ellie coming today is that she has a Subaru, which Conor has driven before, so he is going to take the test on her car.  

Almost all the fiber I dyed on Sunday is dry, but not quite ready for pictures yet.  I tried to repeat the awesome, sexy yarn I dyed last Sunday, but didn't quite achieve the right colors.  I think upon comparison of the two rovings, I have a better idea of the colors I used, and will try again the next time I dye.  It never fails that what is created at the very end of the day when I am using up bits and bobs of dye (so I don't write the colors down) is something quite fantastic that I want to repeat. I hope I now realize that I need to write everything down, even at the end of the day.

I'll leave you with the recipe for Pistachio Cake that we had on Saturday during spinning at my house.  This is one of those cakes from the 60's that use cake mix and pudding mix.  My Aunt Hilda used to make it for special occasions and I can remember a lot of Easter dinners when it was served.  The pistachio pudding mix makes the frosting a very pretty, spring green.

Pistachio Cake

1 Package Duncan Hines White Cake Mix (You can also use yellow cake mix)
2 Packages Royal Instant Pistachio Pudding
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
5 eggs

Mix cake mix and pudding mix, then add oil, water and milk and blend.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.  Place in bundt pan and ake at 350 degrees for one hour.  Cool in pans for 15 minutes and then remove.  You can use layer cake pans also, just bake for a shorter amount of time.

Whip 1/2 pint of heavy cream.  Add one 4 1/2 ounce container of cool whip and one package of instant pistachio pudding mix.  I use all heavy cream because I like the way it tastes better.

That's it.  Really simple to make and yummy too.  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Another Dyeing Sunday

A quick post to say hello.  It's been a busy few days.  Today was a day for dyeing and the dye fumes seem to have taken away my ability to write a cohesive post.  I hope to have a real post tomorrow, with details of our spinning day yesterday at my house.  Perhaps there will be a Pistachio Cake recipe included.

Look, there is thyme growing in my garden!

And despite the depressing snow that was on the ground this morning, and the fact that it is still really cold, there was blue sky today.

This is a cement rhubarb leaf that has been in my garden for the last few years.  Eloise, Judy and I spent an afternoon making casts of rhubarb leaves from Judy's garden one summer afternoon before Judy deserted us and moved to Wilmington.  Then Eloise deserted me and move to Saranac Lake.  Maybe this is a trend, and a miracle will happen, and I will sell my  house and move to the Adirondacks also. I am sending that thought out into the universe.  Let's see what happens.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Day of the Migraine

A migraine has invaded my head and won't leave me alone.  It's finally feeling a bit better, so thought I would say hello.  When I could leave the dark I did some re-skeining of what I dyed over the weekend.  It's so pretty.  I promise to take pictures soon.   Here is a colorway I dyed a while ago but haven't posted on etsy yet.  It is bright and cheerful for spring. Don't forget that tomorrow is the first day of spring-a wonderful thing.
Hoping for cat pictures?  Here is Gerard on his new scratching box.  He not only enjoys scratching it, but sitting upon it as well.  You may notice that he spills over the sides quite a bit. Gerard is a rather large cat, you see.

Here's Seamus holding down fiber for me so it doesn't escape.  I shooed him away as soon as I took the picture and told him very sternly that he is not to lie on top of fiber, even though it is very soft and warm.  He promised to never do it again.  This is fiber I dyed for myself.  I do keep the cats away from fiber I sell.

I believe that part of the reason for my headache was a very limited amount of sleep last night, so I am on my way to bed.  

But before I go, I want to share one of my favorite Internet addictions.  It is called Free Rice and is a vocabulary game created by a parent who couldn't get his son to study for the SAT's.  The good thing about the game, and the reason it is called Free Rice, is that for each word that the player gets correct, 10 grains of rice are donated to starving people.  Tthat way it feels not quite so much like you are wasting time playing the game, or at least that is what I tell myself.  So go and play and feed some starving children.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Results of Dyeing Days

The promised photos of the results of my dyeing days are here.  This is the fiber drying in the basement.  Would you like to guess the age of my house from looking at the beautiful stone walls?
Despite the predicted rain, we ended up with a sunny day, so the fiber was able to go outside to dry.  I took pictures from both sides of the drying racks.  I wish that I had taken the time to crop the pictures, because I am realizing how awful my backyard looks. Since there is still ice and snow in the yard I shouldn't feel too guilty about it's sad state.  Conor and a friend tried to rake yesterday, but discovered the leaves were still frozen.

I am really excited about a couple of the colors that I created this time.  The green that is on the right in the photo  below is one of my favorites.  I love the colors found in nature and this green is very reminiscent of lichen that was photographed on my walk to Moose Pond this winter. 

When dyeing, I try to keep very precise records of what I am doing because when a lot of dyeing is taking place it is sometimes difficult to remember exactly what I did.  This time I created an awesome roving and I did not write down what I did.  I tend to do a bit of dumping at the end of the day, and this must have been one of those rovings.  What I like best about it is the colors that emerged when side by side colors blended together.  I only have 8 ounces of it, and Trina has purchased one and I have to keep the other one to see if I can recreate the colorway.  We are calling it the awesome sexy roving.

I did an etsy shop update today.  Three new listings of my fiber and yarn from the Phat Fiber box this month.  I can't wait to get my box.  There are already several postings on Ravelry and people's blogs showing the contents of boxes received today with descriptions of the contents. It's a lot of fun to see what the individual boxes contain, and it is especially thrilling when I see one of the samples I sent in a picture, even more thrilling when someone takes the time to write a nice review of my sample.

Photographing the batt and yarns was interesting today.  I took the photos on the front porch because I missed the light in the foyer this morning.  I wonder how crazy my neighbors think I am if they notice me carrying a linen covered table outside and then proceed to photograph yarn and fiber.  And not only am I taking photos, but trying to keep the fiber from blowing off the porch. The theme for the box this month was celtic so I dyed green and gold and made batts that reminded me of Irish fields with the sun shining on them.  This is the batt sitting nicely on the table.

This is the same batt lying on the porch floor where the wind blew it while my attention was focused on photgraphing the yarn.  Naughty fiber.

This is the colorway Kilkelly on a base yarn of 100% Merino fingering weight superwash sock yarn.

This is the same colorway on a base of 75% Merino, 25% Nylon fingering weight superwash sock yarn.

 The day ended nicely with knitting at Suzanne's instead of the library this week. We'll have to go there more often since she serves homemade raspberry wine.  Yummy! 

Time for bed.  Work tomorrow, so I will need to rise and shine at an earlier hour than usual.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Another Dyeing Day

My house smells like vinegar and wool, so it must have been a day for dyeing.  I had a lot of fun and had  Andrea came to see me dyeing.  It was nice to have company.  No pictures yet because things are still drying and waiting to be rinsed.  I think I may dye one more day.  I need to figure out what I am going to do for the April Phat Fiber box.  The theme is green, either color or ecologically. I am debating as to which I should do, or maybe a combination since we are now doing 50 samples each month. 

I'm thinking this is good advice for me and Moonlight and Laughter.  Sometimes making a success of this business seems overwhelming, and I need to remember not to be afraid, but to get up every day and keep moving forward.  And to keep on dreaming-I much prefer dreaming to reality anyway.

"Don't be afraid of the space between 
your dreams and reality. If you can 
dream it, you can make it so." 
- Belva Davis 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dyeing Day

I spent the day dyeing,  and mixing dyes, and am planning to do the same tomorrow.  I believe I created some interesting colors and can't wait to see how the yarn and fiber come out.  I am very tired and must take myself to bed now.  I will share some pictures as soon as I have finished product.

I did take a break and go outside for a few minutes and sweep the leaves off the back porch.  What a beautiful day it was!  I poked under some leaves from the fall and saw some green popping up.  I am ecstatic and can't wait to get out in the garden and tell Conor what he has to do.  So I not only have the pleasure of gardening, but of ordering Conor around as well.  The thought makes me smile.

Today was the third Phat Fiber Box Sale and they sold out in something like 90 seconds.  It seems there were a lot of angry people who did not get boxes and took it out on Jessie, the woman who's brainchild it is, by sending her nasty e-mails.  I often really wonder what is wrong with people.  Nothing horrible will happen to these people if they don't receive a box.  I am hoping to get some sales from the box this month.  I didn't from the first month's box, so we'll see how this month goes.  

Must go to bed now.  I know it looks like I did two posts in one day, but the earlier post was actually finished at around 12:30 last night, so I consider that to be a Saturday post, even if it was officially posted on March 14th.

Spring is On It's Way

Not that the weather is improving much, at least in terms of warmer temperatures, but spring must be arriving soon, since it is already March 14th.  Thinking about a trip we took to Cranberry Lake in the spring last year I remembered these photos, which I would like to share with you.  I can't wait to get up there again.  This is taken from the lawn.

The lawn was covered with these little yellow flowers.  Lisa and I found the name of the flower in one of our flower identification books, but I can't remember what it it called.  It must be I had never been at camp when this particular flower was blooming, because I had never seen one before.

This is taken from the front porch.  The dead tree to the left, and the evergreen trees to the right are the home to many different kinds of birds.  We had a great time bird watching last summer.  Can't wait to do it again.

Conor doesn't know it yet, but I have plans for him to make me several of these little tripods to put in my garden in Massena.  It needs some height in the landscape and I think these will do the trick.  

I know he will be thrilled at the opportunity to help me improve the garden. 

Now returning to the real world, Suzanne and Trina came over to knit this afternoon, always a fun time.  I spent the rest of the day knitting and watching the first season of Weeds on Netfilx. I was all set not to like it, because of the subject matter, but I think it is a well done series, as far as I have seen.  I do like Mary-Louise Parker as an actress.  I enjoyed her work on West Wing as well.  

I also watched the Graham Norton Show this evening.  I love this show.  He is very funny, and usually has two guests, one a star of some sort, and the other a comedian. I was hoping it was the episode with Greg Kinnear that the Yarn Harlot talked about in her blog, but that will be on next week.  I have learned not to consume beverages while watching the show because it is not a pleasant feeling to inhale liquids while laughing.  If you have BBC America, I highly recommend it.

Something unusual occurred this evening, I cooked dinner.  I made an old standby-brown some ground beef or ground turkey with a chopped up onion, add a large can of chopped tomatoes, about half a can of water, and 1/2 pound or so of macaroni, garlic salt or powder, salt and pepper.  Cover the pan and boil until the pasta is cooked.  If it seems too dry and pasta hasn't cooked, add a little more water.  It's yummy and fast.  We usually sprinkle it with grated Permesan cheese after it is done cooking.  It was lucky I made a lot because two of Conor's friends also ate with us.  And now three of them are spending the night and playing Resident Evil 5, an x-box game that just came out yesterday.  They just need to be quiet so I can go to sleep.

While in Saranac Lake last week I saw a friend briefly who gave me a belated Christmas gift. Part of the gift was two skeins of Art Yarns Supermerino in Color 153.  The colorway has purple-pale and dark, pink-pale and dark, and turquoise-pale and dark, and is very pretty.  I am trying to choose which sock to make from Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn by Carl Sulcoski. There are so many great patterns in the book it is hard to choose.

In keeping with my goal to even up the number of Gerard and Seamus pictures, here is a picture of Seamus sitting on my very clean kitchen counter.  My kitchen does not usually look this clean, it must have been taken on a day when there was a house showing when we were trying to sell the house. 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

New Yarn and Fiber in My Etsy Shop

This will be a quick post.  I have to go to bed early because I am working an extra long day tomorrow.  I was supposed to work today and tomorrow, but I had to attend a funeral today, so was not able to work.  The funeral was  for my Aunt Dorothy, who was 93 and had been living in a nursing home for the last several years.  Even though it was a blessing, it is still sad.  

I came home and was going to add some yarn to my etsy shop.  My Internet connection kept failing, which was extremely frustrating, because it also means our telephone service fails.  It was also frustrating because I would get the listing almost done, and would lose all I had done.

It turns out that there is something wrong with our modem and we can't have a service call until next Wednesday.  Fortunately it is working right now and Conor can usually fix it by resetting the modem, but the technician was trying to blame the intermittent service on our cordless phone, which they said can interfere with our wireless device.  It makes no sense to me, since we have had the same phone for several months, and we have not had this issue, but who am I to argue with technical support?  Actually, I did argue a little, but it got me nowhere.  I was curious why Time Warner does not advertise the fact that one cannot have a certain strength of cordless phone without it interfering with their service.  Argh!!!

Here are pictures of the yarn and fiber I posted today.   This is a worsted weight yarn, but it does not have a name.  Any suggestions?

This yarn is called Lilacs in Bloom.  One of the skeins is reskeined and the other hasn't been reskeined yet.  One of the interesting things I have learned from dyeing is how the way a skein of yarn can change dramatically when reskeined.  There have been several times when I have dyed a skein of yarn that I really don't like when it is done, but reskeining it changes the whole look.  

I also added this hand carded batt to the shop.  I think it will spin up into some really pretty yarn.  It would also work wonderfully for a wet felted or needle felted project. I have decided not to name these batts because they are one of a kind, and will not be repeated.

I can't leave you without a cat picture.  I realize that I have posted a lot more pictures of Gerard than Seamus.  That is because Gerard is a more mischievous cat who tends to get himself in situations which beg to be photographed.  I was shocked when I came downstairs one morning to find them both sitting in the same chair, so had to take their picture.  I realized they were together because the chair was in a perfect spot to look out the front door, and it was one of the warm days we've had recently, so there was a lot of squirrel activity out there.  I think Gerard looks annoyed that I am taking Seamus' picture.  That may be because I woke Gerard up while taking the picture.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Is It Really Wednesday?

Wow, that week went fast.  Here we are back to spinning Wednesday.   That week just flew by.  I was able to go to spinning today, since the car had oil in it, I believe, even though the oil light comes on whenever I start the car.  I'm sure that is not a problem though, right?  Because after driving for about a mile, it goes off.  

Spinning was fun, as always.  A friend of Andrea's gave her some old knitting books, and Andrea brought a pattern book from the 1950's to show us, which used potholder looms and loops to make beautiful hats, slippers, and purses, as well as other accessories too numerous to mention. I think it is an awesome thing that one can not only wear an attractive hat, but if wearing it while cooking, it can do double duty as a pot holder if the need arises.

Do you remember the potholder looms?  We still have a two of them, along with some cotton loops, on the third floor. And I am pretty sure that there are a couple of potholders at camp made by either me or one of my siblings which are still keeping our hands protected after many years of service.  

I took these pictures on the way to knitting at the library.  This picture is looking to the east-

And this picture is facing looking to the west-

I found the sky to be very foreboding, which is why I stopped to take the pictures.  I find inspiration for my dyeing in the colors that  appear in the sky, not only at obvious times like sunset and sunrise, but with different weather conditions too.  I am challenged to attempt to recreate the colors I see in fiber.

It is really windy here tonight, and I am unnerved by the howling I am hearing.  I used to enjoy listening to the wind, but since shingles have started blowing off my garage and house, I have a different viewpoint.  I am looking forward to better weather so I can get the missing shingles replaced, both on the garage and the house.  One of my least favorite ways to spend money, on household repairs, but it must be done.  I would much rather buy fleece or yarn.

Speaking of yarn and fleece, I received an e-mail today from one of  my etsy customers, who is stationed in Europe.  She was very happy with her purchase and said "you've succeeded in your quest, soft, wonderful wool in wonderful colors at great prices. I'm just thrilled.  Be proud, your yarn has hit Europe & will be shown off here shortly!!'   

How awesome is that?  It did make me feel quite proud of what I am accomplishing.  And I just purchased more roving, so am looking forward to getting back in the basement and getting some dyeing done.  One of the reasons I am hesitating to dye is that it is very cold in the basement.  Another reason to be glad spring is coming.

Once again, Trina and I were the only knitters at the library.  I took a picture of the fireplace, in case that might entice someone to come and join us.  It is very warm and cozy, and it would be nice to share some of that warmth with some other knitters or crocheters.  The chairs in front of the fireplace are quite comfy as well.

I finished the socks I started on Saturday while knitting at Mountain Gift & Powder

 They are made from a Fleece Artist kit holding a stand of mohair and a strand of wool together.  They look so soft and warm I want to put them on, but I can't because they are part of my Christmas gift stash for next year.  I am making progress on my sweater also.  I only have a few more rows to knit on the front, then I will do the sleeves and I will be done.  I've been slightly nervous that I wouldn't have enough yarn to finish the sleeves, but it looks like it's going to be alright.  I will be very happy to finish this sweater and move on.  

It's getting close to Phat Fiber Sampler Box time for March.  We were mentioned in the issue of Knitty which came out today, and it's very exciting to be a part of this endeavor.  For those who don't know, "Phat Fiber is a mystery box of awesome samples for the yarn and fiber enthusiast in us all. With a focus on the independent artisan, this box is a super grass-roots treat for the senses. When your box arrives, chock full of samples, expect to be overwhelmed with the sight and feel of artful yarns, bits of roving, small batts, stitch markers, original patterns, valuable discount coupons and much much more. Inside, you could find anything that yarn and fiber enthusiasts would love...even an herbal tea or two! Phat Fiber seeks to bridge the gap between talented online artisans and consumers hungry to support the independent small business."  

And finally, here is a picture taken over the weekend of my granddog Begonia, who is getting bigger by the day.  She is very sweet, and as you can see, still thinks she is a lap dog. That is Travis she is sitting upon.  I was standing up and she came and sat at my feet and leaned on me, and she almost pushed me over, not an easy thing to do.  

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Lazy Sunday

Caitlin is home and made a delicious dinner of chicken marsala, mashed potatoes and glazed carrots.  It was a very yummy meal, and she made enough so that we can have leftovers tomorrow.  The washer and dryer have been very busy since she got home.   Conor helped out  by making some delicious chocolate chip cookies. 

Things are not going so well with the three cats.  Seamus has turned into a devil cat-hissing and scratching since Sterling arrived last night.  Gerard seems to be handling the intruder better, but there is a little hissing happening with him too.  

Caitlin and I have been sharing a bottle of wine this evening.  It's good, but making me sleepy.  We have a new wine store in Massena.  It's exciting to see a relatively upscale store going into downtown Massena.  Maybe it is the beginning of the revitalization of the downtown area.

Grocery shopping was also on the agenda today,  and a short trip to Office Max, where there was a 70% off sale on the cutest office supplies, so I had fun buying some things to help keep the business organized.  Of course, I also had to buy some pens.   I have an addiction to buying pens-I've been good lately, so treated myself to some Sharpie pens which are like regular pens and are not supposed to bleed-a good quality in a pen.

Yesterday while waiting for Travis and Caitlin to get off work I sat in on a knitting class at Mountain Gift and Powder.  Gaye is now going to be selling my sock yarn, so that's exciting.  It's my first retail outlet that will be selling my products.  While there, I finished the striped mittens I was making and started a new sock-it's a kit from Fleece Artist.  You hold a strand of wool and a strand of mohair together.  There are only 32 stitches, so it's a sock that goes really quickly and makes an unbelievably soft and comfortable sock.  I would show a picture, but I seem to have misplaced my camera cord again.   

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Why is it daylight saving time.  I don't want to lose an hour's sleep.  Waaahhhh.  

Tomorrow I will tell you about my great day in Saranac Lake, but I must go to sleep now.  The drive home was exhausting  because it was foggy the whole way.  Not fun driving through the mountains on a dark, foggy night.

But first I will share a photo of Gerard on the alert to make sure that no evil squirrels come onto our front porch.  I think he is pretty successful at his job.

It is Warm Outside

It 12:42 a.m. and it is 48 degrees outside.  How wonderful is that?   It makes me realize that spring really is coming.  Let's hope it is just around the corner.  

Haven't done a foot picture recently.  This was taken on a very hot day last August in Middle (I think) Saranac Lake.  The kids were swimming, and I was taking pictures, including pictures of my feet.  

I'm off to Sarnac Lake tomorrow to pick up my darling daughter so she can come home for a couple of days.  It will be great to have her home.  She hasn't been home since Christmas.  My grandcat Sterling Battleship Sylvia will also be visiting.  By the end of Sterling's last visit Gerard and Seamus were beginning to tolerate her.  It will be interesting to see if they remember each other.

Sorry this is such a short post, but it was a long day at work trying to learn Quickbooks.  Must go to bed now so I can get up early and go get my girl.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Cleaned!!!

It's not that I'm excited that I cleaned, as you might infer from the explanation marks, but it has been so darn long since I cleaned it actually felt good.  Hard for me to believe, because I am not a fan of the cleaning.  My favorite kind of cleaning is when I am able to hire someone else to clean for me.  That way it's all done at once, instead of in dribs and drabs, and the intoxicating smell of Murphy's Oil Soap wafting through the air makes me smile. 

My favorite thing I did today was a little rearranging of the stash.  Every couple of months it's necessary to return to the stash closet all the balls and skeins of yarn I have pulled out thinking I would use them, but then a better ball or skein came along and the first yarn was relegated to a basket to be dealt with later. 

 I also find several sets of needles during the putting away process, which is always a nice thing.  I have been wondering where one of my size 8 Knit Picks Harmony wood needles was.  The other one is in my knitting bag, and I couldn't figure out how I could have lost one, so I've been using two different wooden needles when I need size 8' straights.  It turns out there was another set just like it in one of the baskets with a lace scarf which I had begun, but abandoned part way through.  I ripped it out and returned the mismatched set of needles to my knitting bag, so now I have 2 sets of size 8 needles.  It's good when such small thing as finding a knitting needle can bring joy into one's life.  While putting the yarn away, I also came to the realization that in general I do not enjoy scarf knitting.  There were more abandoned scarves than any other project. However, I have a lot of yarn that isn't good for much else, so maybe I need to look for some inspiring scarf patterns.

Another thing I did during the stash rearrangement was to throw away a mitten and an almost completed sock.  It felt so good to just throw them away, not unravel them, not think I will finish this project some day.  I threw them in the trash with a small degree of glee, because I will no longer be held hostage by the idea that I have to finish a project I am really not enjoying.  It's not as if there is any lack of potential projects.  I think I could knit for several years without purchasing another pattern or ball of yarn, but what fun would that be?

Perhaps one of the reasons I felt inspired to clean is the slightly warming temperature trend which seems to be occurring.  It was possible to walk down the steps into the back yard for the first time in months.  It was a wonderful feeling, but I was also able to see all the work that is awaiting me this spring. Remember when there was green and flowers and unfrozen water in the outside world?

 I have the best intentions in the fall of separating plants and getting the garden put to bed, but I invariably wait too long and the snow begins to fall.  All those years of living in New Jersey have given me an unrealistic view of when winter begins.  

Better put myself to bed.  Work tomorrow and then a trip to Saranac Lake to bring home Caitlin and two months worth of laundry.  And I do believe I might be bringing home some new fiber to dye as well.  Fun, fun, fun.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's Been an Etsy Day

Today was spent taking photos and putting things in my etsy shop. Taking photos that truly portray the colors of the yarn is a difficult task. The fact that the sun was shining made this a good day to take the photos. Here are the two colorways I managed to get on-line this afternoon. This colorway is "Pale Rainbow". When I first started dyeing to sell yarn and fiber Conor requested rainbow yarn because he wanted a pair of rainbow colored socks. This colorway was one of the attempts at rainbow. It did turn out to be a rainbow, just not the traditional red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.

This yarn is several shades of grey and pink. The colorway is "Suzanne" named after my friend who suggested this would be a good color combination to try to dye.

I have had quite a few purchases of worsted weight yarn recently, so need to get dyeing some more. My dyeing day on Sunday didn't work out because my brother called to see if I wanted to visit my mother, who lives in a nursing home after falling and breaking her hip several years ago. It is a very difficult thing to visit her because every time I go it seems that she has failed more. After the visit I no longer felt creatively inspired to dye, so instead spent the day knitting and watching a marathon of America's Next Top Model-a good way to vegetate, yet create something at the same time.

It was knitting night at the library tonight. It was only Trina and me-a very quiet night. Trina gave me a pair of Kollage Yarns square metal double pointed needles she had ordered for me. I wanted to try them even though I am not a fan of metal needles. I was surprised at how much I like them. The metal seems to have a plastic coating so the yarn slides along very easily and they are much lighter than regular metal needles. I think I will get another pair. I knit a lot of socks with size 0 needles, and the wooden ones tend to bend. The bamboo set I am using now are permanently bent in what looks like a smile.

Here is today's cat picture. I had my two phat fiber sampler boxes on the couch and Gerard must have thought one would be a good place for a nap. This box had a lot of natural fiber in it, and I think he liked the natural animal scents. He stayed in there and slept for quite a while.

He stayed in there and slept for quite a while.

Silly cat.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

If It's March, Shouldn't It Be Warm?

There seems to be a recurring theme in my posts discussing cold and snow.  I am tired of being cold.  I don't mind the snow so much, but in order to have warmth, we must lose snow.  I think that by March 2, it should be at least a degree or two above freezing, but this morning it was 11 degrees when I drove Conor to school.  (He was late because I forgot to push the alarm button.  I did point out to Conor that maybe he should take a little responsibility for waking himself up.)  I have no new revelations on the matter.  I just wanted to share with you how tired I am of being cold.  I am hoping my mood will improve if it ever becomes warmer.  And I promise to never complain about the heat this summer.  I'll just crank down the AC or jump in the pool or go to Cranberry Lake.   Here's a picture of a sunset I might see sitting on the porch at camp, while I am cooling off.  We must have hundreds of pictures of sunsets taken by my parents and siblings over the years, but they are all a little bit unique.  

The phat fiber samples are done.  My problem is that the batts are so fluffy I don't have a box big enough to contain them.  I might be able to with some help.  I am sure Conor will be happy to help me before school tomorrow.

In a state of boredom late Saturday night I joined Facebook.  I am not quite sure why, or what I intend to do now that I am on it, but I have had several messages on my wall.  When I saw what the wall was, I must admit that I felt disappointment.  I had envisioned a brick backdrop with messages tacked on somehow.  It's nothing like that and I am sad.  I was very entertained by the thought of asking all of Conor's friends to be my friends.  However I decided against the plan, and only asked Conor to be my friend.  Now I can stalk him and find out what he is doing.

Did anyone do the quiz in yesterday's post?  I meant to write about it, but couldn't figure out how to add anything before or after it once it was posted.  I do have a serious love of books, so Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm fits, I guess.  I think I must have been an editor in a previous life, and I am very bothered by mistakes I find in print.

On the knitting front, at the Knit-In at the Potsdam Museum on Saturday, I started a pair of mittens from the book Favorite Mittens by Robin Hansen.  They are called Striped Mittens and I  have made several times in the past.  They are a lot of fun because the look of the mitten changes quite dramatically depending on what yarns are used.  I am using some of my handspun and Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride in natural.  I am all done with one except for the thumb, and have finished the cuff on the second one, so it is a fast knit.   

Here are the happy knitters at our table at the Museum on Saturday.  Andrea is making her second pair of socks, and has started them over several times, but keeps on persevering and she is doing a great job.  We think it may be the wool which splits really easily that is the issue, not Andrea's knitting.  We are having spinning at her house on Wednesday, so we'll see how far she has progressed.

Definitely time for bed.  Tomorrow Conor gets the last part of his braces put on and I am not looking forward to the next few days.  The only positive thing is he really won't be able to eat, so I won't hear the question "What's for dinner?" for a few days, which will be a pleasant thing.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

You're probably in the final stages of a Ph.D. or otherwise finding a way to make your living out of reading. You are one of the literati. Other people's grammatical mistakes make you insane.

Dedicated Reader
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz