My Back Yard : : My View of the Rogue Valley

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Fast Dash Down South

DH and I made a quick trip down the coast to see his sister and her partner. We tried to make our destination as much in the middle for both of us as possible and ended up on the coast just north of Jenner, CA.

This was our first trip to the coast together since 2002. It was refreshing & cool as you can see by our attire, but way too short. After 95+ degree days it was really nice. The purpose of the trip was tech support. DH had his sister's laptop and instead of mailing it back we made the trip south.

Here's the two of us trying to relax before heading back home. We did stop at a couple of beaches and chill out on the trip home.

This shot shows a bit of the Fork in the Road sweater by Kathy Zimmerman that I knit DH. It's from K72 Fall 2003. I had enough yarn leftover to make matching socks.

Other sightseeing activities included a herd of elk, an odd looking chalet, a fisherman, and plenty of naked ladies.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I'm tired of knitting socks

I've finished DH's handspun camo socks. Yes, one sock is larger than the other one. It's because of the yarn. Lessons learned while spinning: 1. draft, draft, draft. The more the fiber is drafted the less compacted the yarn, 2. Did I mention drafting? :o)

While I enjoyed the whole process of spinning and knitting these socks I'm ready to move on to another project. These are the fourth pair of socks in the last couple of months, (pictures later), and I'm ready to start another project.

Remember the raw fleece? Well, half of it is clean, a little is carded, and I have no special project in mind. Any ideas? I do plan on mixing some of it with the gray Romney and doing some dyeing so maybe an idea will jump out at me.

Well, need to get ready for a fast trip down the coast to see DH's sister & partner. Should get some great shots that will be posted this weekend.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Well's Gone Dry

Because of the lack of irrigation water that not only watered our landscaping, but also watered the wildlife, we've been keeping fresh water for the deer and turkeys. (I guess the skunks and racoons also take advantage of the cool drink.) Anyway, last night we were disturbed by something walking up on the deck. DH got his million-watt flashlight out to find the intruder only to find it wasn't charged. This prompted a search for night vision goggles, spotlights, or whatever he could find to target the intruder. All in all it was pretty hilarious watching him try to discover what had been walking on the deck. He did say he had seen the glow of eyes far enough apart to be a cougar. My guess is that it was the doe and her fawn out looking for a midnight snack and a little liquid refreshment.

The above picture was taken last year when the irrigation ditch was full. This year the grass and weeds are all dead so there's not much for the deer to munch on but they do have water.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Picture Update

Had to post a picture of the drum carder I got at BSG this year along with the wool I'm currently working with. All of the raw wool I have is Romney. The dark stuff on the carder is from Websters in Ashland and the white is from a colleague whose wife has a couple of sheep, both Romney and Merino. The stuff from Websters was raw fleece when I bought it - around 2.5 pounds worth. Haven't weighed it yet to see how much I ended up with.

Once I get all of the white washed and carded along with carding the rest of the dark gray I want to try another fleece, probably Blue-face Leceister.

More knitting pictures.

My Socks Mom's Vest Peter's socks

The first picture is the only new pair of socks, or anything else, I've knit myself all year. Guess I need to get busy. They're mine because of the goof on the toe, they don't match. The yarn is Opal self-patterning sock yarn from Woodland Woolworks, which is really a great yarn to knit with. The vest is from Folk Vests by Cheryl Oberle, knit for my mom using Paton's Classic Wool. On the right is a pair of socks for my DH using some Cascade 220 from Websters left over from another project.

Finally, for Heather in Colorado. This is one of the blouses I want to send. It's 100% cotton seer sucker with a denim collar. The other two are similar in style except they're 55% linen/45% cotton and both are a solid color, natural and coral (and not seer sucker). Let me know what you think.

Cowboy Pete - family post

During a fit of cleaning I came across the following poem written by my step-daughter when she was a sophmore in high school. It's based on a picture of her dad when he was a small child. While it won't have meaning for many folks out there it will certainly be appreciated by the family.

Cowboy Pete

Standing tall, standing proud
Beautiful day,
nothing in the sky, not even a cloud.

Perched on a cellar door
Playing cowboys and Indians
No one is cuter than Peter Norman.

Shorts pulled high,
Socks also to the sky.
Sounds of happy laughter fill the ears.

Shorts held up by a rope,
Peter, don’t forget to wash
behind your ears with soap.

Has a straw hat, frayed,
looks torn by a cat.
A smile that could brighten anybody’s gray day,

A body skinny and frail,
A grin that could tip the scale.
My dad, the cunning little cowboy.

In one hand mischief, and in the other only trouble,
This little partner looks sly and coy,
I’m so glad there’s only one and not double.

It’s too bad I wasn’t around when you were little,
Our fashion sense could have been seen
as a bright bag of skittles.

You were such a cute kid.
Not a care in sight,
You dreamed of being a pilot and taking off in flight.

I’m so glad you were captured
in a picture like this,
Forever your childhood your mother will miss.

You are all grown up,
You will never again need your sippy cup.

Why couldn’t you have stayed an adventurous child?
Forever you’d be young and wild.

There are so many things that only you can teach me,
But how could you do that if you were still baby Petey?

So we’ll cherish the moments we have now,
And in the future I will tell my kids
and they will think “holy cow.”

So hug me tonight,
I’ll see you tomorrow.

- Aimee

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Let's try this again

For all of my good intentions here it is a year later and I'm making my second entry. Please forgive me and permit me a second chance.

In June I went to the Blacksheep Gathering in Eugene, OR and spent my Christmas budget for the next year. :o) My first big purchase was a Strauch Petit carder. My thinking was, if I can't figure out how to do hand cards on my own maybe buying a drum carder will give me the results I'm looking for. It worked. My second purchase was a Lendrum folding wheel. Both equipment purchases were from Woodland Woolworks.

Other tools I bought were two orifice hooks, a generic one and a Forsythe threading loop and an Adam's Woodshop 5-Needle Handturned Felting Punch all from Carolina Homespun.

I think I walked up and down the vendor isles 20 times before picking up a little bit of fiber to take home. Then I needed something to carry the fiber in once it was purchased so I picked up a basket.

Here you can see the basket, the wheel and some of the fiber I bought. That particular bit of fiber is painted Blue-face Leicester from Dicentra Designs. It didn't all get spun up while camping, guess I need to go camping again to finish it.

The other bit of fiber below is from a woman with a shop in Eugene. It's all spun and was more than enough for a pair of socks for DH. I can't find my receipt or a label from the stuff anywhere and I would really like to get some more. Like the Dicentra Designs wool this is also BLF. Great stuff to spin and knit and the socks are supposed to be long wearing.

Here's the socks I made from the other fiber I bought at BSG. I experimented with spinning the colors so the first sock is knitted from yarn created by not thinning the roving so there are large areas of color. The sock that isn't quite finished is knitted from the yarn created by thinning the roving into several strips. Both are two-ply yarns.

But I didn't only shop this year, I did take two workshops. The first one was
POPULAR WHEEL MECHANICS with Judith MacKenzie McCuin and the second was SPINNING AND WORKING WITH HANDPAINTED ROVINGS with Laurie Weinsoft. Laurie is a member of the Twisted Sisters spinning group and Judith is a much sought after spinning, knitting, weaving teacher throughout North America. Both were top notch classes. I can't wait until next year!

I promise to post again soon. No, no,
really I promise.