Wednesday, April 18, 2007

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night...

...when from a distant barn, some fool hollered: "IT'S A GIRL!"
All was good in the kingdom!

So to all, a good night!

Lookie What I Got

It's my prize for March Sweater Madness! Isn't it wonderful??

Michelle is the best (she organised the whole thing). You should really visit her store. She has pretty things!

Jinxa is pretty fab too for donating these books as prizes. Did I tell ya? She won 1st place, and got to add a bunch of scrumptious yarn to her stash.

Ok. So today is another day. Slightly less full of crap than yesterday. At least isn't not pouring rain. I did say slightly. Not to get your hopes up and all.

Washer is still broken. Hubby dug around the innards and discovered another fried motor. NOT GOOD. I made a command decision (because I AM master and commander of laundry!) that I will only wash one load per day by hand. Because anything more is totally insane, and frankly, I am just a wee bit tired of the insane label. Thanks anyway. Come pay day, we're going cruising for a used machine.

Lets see. I did barn chores. I chatted with Alison for a bit. I slept. Had fresh bread for lunch. Then I napped. With cats, whose heat I thieved mercilessly. Then I dove into the mindful knitting, you know, because I thought it would be easy. Was I ever wrong. The only thing I became more mindful of was the noise around me. I couldn't tune it out. Even the wind was loud and snarly. But I knit anyway and tried to focus on each stitch. Fell more in lust with that sock yarn colour. Thought about how nice a light sweater or a top would look in that colour.

Pretty Pretty

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Crap Abounds

It was actually just drizzling when I took this picture around 8:30 this morning. Now it's pouring for all it's worth and has been most of the day. Yeah, not so good, except maybe for the water table. I hear it will be a dry summer.

The old part of the barn has a freaking leak in the roof. It's been fixed. Many times. We, as in hubby and me, are at our wits' ends trying to figure out how the H.E. double hockey sticks the rain is getting under there. At least I don't have hay in that part of the barn anymore. Yeah, that's not so good either.

Let's see. Oh, yes. We're quickly running out of fire wood. Although It's not been exactly freezing outside, the damp and cold and wind just suck the heat out of the house and our bodies and leave us scrambling for more blankets. Bad. Definitely.

Icing on the cake? The washing machine, the one I spent almost $500 on to get it a new motor and a doo-hickey not so long ago? Won't spin. It flat out refuses. I am not in love with it anymore. Parts for a front loader cost a freaking king's ransom. No, I can't afford to replace the @*$^$^!! thing, no matter how much I would love to turf it to the curb right this very moment. Cooler head (make that a "cold head") must prevail. Doing laundry in the tub. Wow. MY FAVOURITE. Yeah, that hits that very bad marker dead on.

So things are far from great. My hands are still cold, even though I have my Olympic sweater on and a cat just crawled up onto my lap. Any minute now I will convince myself that the only way to make any of this any better is to jump in bed and hide my head (and hands) under the duvet.

Couple positive things to report. First, sleeves of the Lopi are coming along. One done and the other not quite half done. Second, I started a pair of very nice socks for my youngest man-child. Very nice. Colour makes me wish they were for me. Third, I started another pair of woolies for hubby. You know, to get on with the stash reduction.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Good Grief, My Hands Are Cold!

The good part is that they are attached to my body or they would be in danger of dropping off. Kind of like leaves on a plant you forget to water.

Let's talk about the weather for a short moment. This morning? Freezing rain and wind. My laundry is frozen on the line, because laziness tends to bite one on the ass. Yesterday? It was freaking glorious!

After the morning coffee and official wake up, most of our family spent the day outside. The young man-child wasted the morning on PS2, but after lunch he and father went fishing in the boat. The woman-child and I puttered around the farm. Naturally it was a perfect day for barn cleaning and hubby even fired up the tractor and moved one of the manure piles and leveled out the ground in front of the barn.

The animals kept bawling, wanting to be let out, but only the chickens enjoyed some freedom. I'm putting an end to that for the time being seeing how they were laying eggs in the hay instead of the coop, and no doubt hiding them in places I won't discover until fall. Ah, but I do love to let them free-range and deal with the bugs early on.

I worked on the flower beds, adding soil and peat moss, doing a bit of planting, but for the most part cleaning up. My mid-afternoon both woman-child and I had enough and went for a walk to visit a neighbour. On the way back, we picked up empties. No respect, some people. No, won't bitch about it now.

Gotta go warm up hands. Too cold to type.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Happy Friday the 13th!

See that? Yup, only on Friday the 13th would I get such crappy weather after the lull of a beautiful spring day yesterday. I mean to tell you I totally ignored hubby when he said it would turn nasty overnight. DID NOT BELIEVE HIM FOR A MOMENT!! At least not until midnight when I heard the freezing rain drumming against the windows.

In other news, here are a couple new pairs of socks finished this week, kindly modelled by Annie cat.

This looks suspiciously like an addition to my stash. Don't judge quite yet. See, once everyone went to bed last night, I was still up waiting for the bread to finish baking and didn't want to waste prime quiet time, so I decided to unravel the back and front of a lace sweater I started couple years ago. I knew it would never fit me in it's current state and I am not willing to indulge so much ever again that I will fit into it. I can proudly say that this beautiful Fleece Artist wool will go a lot further now! Maybe a nice vest this time... For now, it's one less UFO hanging around the house!
It's getting difficult typing with this critter on my arm. Sugar and I wish you a nice weekend.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Let the Sun Shine

See that? There is hope for me yet. April is UFO month. I am trying to do my part. The abandoned Lopi cardigan has been dusted off and is front and centre in the knitting queue. I finished the right front and started on the sleeves yesterday. There are so many ends to sew in! I have to block the pieces before I sew anything together, but that means I have to deal with the ends first. Now do you understand why this nice sweater has been gathering dust?? I should have knit it in the round and steeked. I would have saved myself so much time and aggravation. But no... I had to follow the pattern. Silly me.

The lamb, he remains nameless. It's got to be the right name after all. Studly, maybe? Time to pull out the baby names book.

Now, laundry and knitting await.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter

Easter Morning in my part of the world.

Cats are no dummies. Forget braving the chilly outdoors today!
Blue cuffed ones will be Mat's as part of his birthday present and the others are for hubby since I threw out one pair of his socks on Thursday and it only seems fair to make replacements.
I am still putting off counting all my abandoned knitting projects. However, as far as stash does, it has been going. Two sweaters as of January, the striped blanket is coming along well, I have knit hats as needed, and at least a couple pairs of socks, ones on the needles not included. I hope to have both these pairs done by tonight. I hope.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Fleece Artist on SALE!

My dear friend Alison is in Nova Scotia this weekend on a whirlwind visit to family and friends. We met for a super quick get-together at Frenchie's. Marla the great was there, too, naturally. We were happily chatting away and rooting through the bins, no doubt in a manner similar to wild boars searching out truffles. And out of the blue, Alison says "after we're done here, you gotta see what I got at the yarn barn!" Picture pure happiness and smiles galore. My yarn radar was bleeping like mad. "Oh, yeah," Alison continues, "they have Fleece Artist seconds on SALE! You should see all the stuff I got!"

Oh MY! I felt light headed. Delirious. Fleece Artist on Sale??? It's not my birthday, I didn't win the lottery, old Ed hasn't been hanging around my lawn with anorexic models and a huge cheque in this hands! Definitely too late for April fools. Well, I tell you, she did show me her treasures, and while I hope I didn't drool on the sock yarn too much, my many thanks go to her Hubby, who at the exactly right time asked if I needed to go to Mahone Bay at all since he heard about my stash and didn't figure I needed anything more.


Thanks again, Alison's very nice hubby. Thanks for being such an enabler, Alison! Don't you realize that little slip was much like being on strict diet and someone brings Tobblerone and chips and cookies and candy into the house and starts eating in front of you?? Poor me.

Thanks for saving me from my addiction, and from a potential fall from grace, Alison's hubby. I am forever grateful. Merci!

Friday, April 06, 2007


I have an Easter lamb, Easter lamb, Easter lamb....
Hey, if I believed in miracles, this lamb would certainly count as a big one.

The story? You knew there had to be one! About 3 years ago or so, my neighbour (a couple houses down) was selling off her flock. She was getting older, it was getting to be too much work for her, blah blah blah... I, on the other hand, wanted to buy sheep because they were sooo cute, but also because I thought to myself: "hey, wouldn't it be cool to raise sheep, sheer them for their fleeces, eat 'em if need be, learn to spin; I am a knitter so it's only natural to to go from the beginning to the finished socks, right self?Plus I could raise them organic because I'm a big believer in that."

What, You don't have conversations with Your self?

Back to the story... So I kept visiting her place, checking out all the ewes and lambs, asking tons of questions. I wanted a fairly decent fleece, a friendly animal for which I wouldn't regret handing money over, and naturally a healthy one. It bears mentioning that these sheep were not pure breeds; more like heinz 57. I aimed for the ones that had more wool qualities than meat. I ended up with 4: three ewes and a lamb. Remember Darcy and Dawn's romance couple summers ago? When nothing happened? Because Darcy was supposed to have been a wether? Yup, I'm finally getting to the point. Darcy was that lamb, cute as anything, looked to the naked eye like his maleness had been dealt with.... Yeah right! It took a year but lo and behold, there were his ram parts, ready to go. But like I said, nothing happened. And his lovely Dawn is now sheep-a-roni. Yum.

So imagine my freaking surprise yesterday morning when I went to do my barn chores and there is this rat blocking my way (actually that's a another story, no, not for right now!). I was half-way through cleaning out the cow stall when this black thing caught my eye. I though it was Fang, the SPCA cat, finally getting brave enough to venture into the sheep pen. Not. A lamb was prancing unsteadily on it's legs. Holy sheepiness. I ran back to the house, yelling at my husband for the second time in less than 10 minutes to hurry up and get to the barn (first time was the rat). When he FINALLY got there I was bouncing and smiling and laughing like some escapee from a lunatic farm. So so very happy.

Oh yes, Darcy has at long last risen from a wether to his rightful status of Ram.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

What's with the SNOW???

It's April 3rd, right? I didn't sleep through some important notice that we're back in Winter mode again? Are you SURE??

So what's up with the SNOW? Late April Fool's joke? Because that's just wrong. I shouldn't be taking pictures of snow in April. I should be taking pictures of baby lambs and spring blooms and such. Is it because I was saucy enough to hang laundry on the line? HUH.

It is catch up time again. Imagine that. See, March was all about the March Sweater Madness. Go see the other progress pictures and read about the Madness.
For me, it was down to the (almost) last hour! And you wanna know something really good? The wool for this sweater came from my stash.

Yes, boys and girls, the yarn diet continues, in spite of all the temptations. Another five (5!) months to go! Oh My!!

Gotta tell you all something. I was laughing (possibly crying) for a while after this was revealed to me. I live in a house with 3 guys and a girlie girl. The girlie girl knits or should I say, is learning to knit, and I knit (obviously!). All the guys wear wool socks made by me, but especially when they're going out to work in the woods in winter, or hunt, or fish, or play hockey.... You get the picture. The guys and I were waiting for the hockey game to come back on (Toronto vs. Pittsburg and Ottawa vs. NYI, not that this matters). The girlie girl was already tucked into bed. We were just chatting away; there is a LOT of competition in this house over hockey, since each person supports a different team. Anyway, getting to the point... Out of the blue we started talking knitting and yarn. Actually not out of the blue; I was finishing all the seaming on my MSM sweater and hubby was "encouraging" me to just stop talking and get it done. The out of the blue part was when I commented how much I liked this yarn and how I haven't bought yarn in three months already... and they should know a present of yarn DOESN'T count as breaking the yarn diet because I am not the one buying the yarn. The teenager said he thought about buying me some Yellow yarn for Christmas (because yellow is my favourite colour) at which time I got a chance to educate him that yarn isn't just yarn, and to stay away from acrylics if he wants to please me... ANYWAY!! Hubby pipes up and says "You know, I never really thought about buying you yarn..." Can you imagine? Gifting yarn to a knitter is NOT an obvious choice! OH MY!

I need to print MANY copies of Harlot's and Franklin's suggestion lists what to buy for a knitter! I didn't think it would come to this. It's not like I don't throw hints their way. A would love to have a swift.... It would make my life sooo much easier...

Last thought:

My two youngest at Crescent Beach a week and a half ago. A family outing which we all enjoyed tremendously. The temperature was +16 C. Incredible.