Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Happy blogiversary to me!

Two years. What a long time for me to blather on and on. For those of you who are reading, thanks for sticking with me.

And, so that you're not disappointed--here's more blather!
I am almost halfway on my newest sweater which I started over last Wednesday evening because the needles I was using were too big:

The pattern is #11 Lace tank from Vogue Knitting, Spring/Summer 2007. Not an easy pattern to find when you didn't buy the magazine. Gotta love the county library system.

I got a lot of knitting time in on it during our union convention this weekend (for the curious, AFSCME Council 24) in La Crosse. Churchill was my passenger for the car ride. I am proud of him for being such a good rider for the 3 hour drive there and back. He doesn't mind hotel rooms, but he was really glad to get home.

I won a prize in our retiree raffle (thanks for the tickets, Julie!). Here it is in it's new home in the Hoosier cabinet in our kitchen:

The appliance pictured is a Cuisinart blender/food processor. I was excited to win it. Apparently I appeared so excited to win it that my union brothers started calling me "blender girl". It is replacing two separate appliances--and this one has bigger capacity than the ones it is replacing.

I have broken in both the blender jar and the food processor jar. It makes nummy raspberry sherbet shakes. Mmmmmmmm.It also made short work of grating pecorino romano cheese for the four cheese ravioli in olive oil for supper last night.

Ah, this week is EAA week in Oshkosh. It takes a day or so to get used to the increased noise level of all the planes. I'm not complaining--I was an EAA member for a lot of years and have been to the convention too many times to count. Tonight at Knit Night we are expecting an EAA knitter. It should be interesting. I need to get there early to secure chairs for us, before the air show lets out. It's kind of hard to knit standing up.

Hope you all stick around to see what happens in the next year for the 3rd anniversary of my blog. Have a good day!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rhapsody in aqua

Ever in search of items in the color aqua, I found these sheets at Target yesterday:

Fabulous! (Yes, I embroidered the other pillowcase.) Note how perfectly the pillowcase matches the paint on the wall.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I bought Paulette a spindle at the Fiber and Folk Art Fair. Here are pics:

It is from Greensleeves Spindles. The "model" is Tom Foolery. The shaft is mahogany and the whorl is pieced bloodwood and pommel buhringer. That's my spinning on there. I had to try it out!

My shawl is done.

Believe it or not, the two skeins of Ella Rae laceweight were supposedly the same dye lot. I think it looks okay with the border a little different color, almost like I planned it that way. I thought about alternating skeins every couple of rows, but that seemed like a lot of work.
On to my next project!

Monday, July 20, 2009

On a mission

I was a woman on a mission at the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair on Saturday. I was there for the fiber to spin. I found lots:

This pretty batt is merino, wool and firestar. I bought it a the booth of Sheepish Creations.
I bought some undyed merino at the Little Barn booth (two bags full, ha ha):

I don't know if I'll spin it white and dye it when the yarn is done or dye the fiber first. Maybe I'll leave it white. We'll see what happens when I get that far.
I also bought 4 ounces of bombyx silk fiber at the same booth:

I'm a sucker for the shiny stuff.

I also bought this fiber:

It's from the booth After the Sheep. The fiber is merino, bamboo and nylon. It's so soft and spins really nicely. I bought two braids of this. The dye lots look almost the same, but I think I am going to spin both and ply them together so that the yarn matches.

I couldn't wait to get home and spin this. It sure helps when you have fiber that wants to work with you! And my Golding spindle doesn't hurt either. I love it. It spins so long that I can get at least 18 inches spun before I have to wind it on.

I also bought some yarn:

The yarn is from Knitting Notions. Love the colors and it was on sale!

My shawl is coming along. Ten rows left and it's history.

I didn't get much knitting done in the car. I was looking at the scenery and navigating for Paulette.

The Fiber and Folk Art fair was fun. I would go again. There was lots more knitting and spinning stuff than quilting, pottery and basketry. There was a food court with yummy food. I had potato pancakes for lunch, topped off with a deep fried Twinkie for dessert. The Twinkie was good. It was the first time I had tried one. All the fried stuff made me sleepy on the ride home. All in all, a fun day!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Nerd-ly goodness

Here is a picture of our newest knitter:

For those of you who don't know her, this is my niece, Beth. She looks so proud. No one really taught her how to knit. She knows how to crochet. Last week I gifted her with knitting needles, a how to knit book and yarn. She figured it out herself. Good job!! Now she is knitting a lace washcloth. I see good things in her knitting future.

On Monday I went for one day to the American Library Association conference. It was a long day. I got up at 4AM and we were on a bus to Chicago by 6:35AM. Ugh. Lots of knitting time on the bus, though. Paulette and I mainly went to visit with friends. We had lunch with Jennifer from Fort Collins, CO and Jim from Denver. I missed them so much. Love you guys!

Jennifer, Paulette and I scoured the exhibit area at the convention. We found an interesting vendor:

Yes, those are purses made from books. What better place to sell them than at a library convention.

She also was selling these little notebooks, with the title of "Sexy Librarian notebooks":

Love the glasses! I had cat eye glasses when I was a little girl. Ooooo, sexy!

Here's a shot of the inside of the notebook:

Yes, those are old-style checkout cards. Which are not so old-style in my Music Library. I still use them, but not completely in their intended fashion.

I leave you now with a lovely shot of my front yard garden.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Group hug

Keri (and her husband, Joel), who now reside in Portland, Oregon, are here in Wisconsin for a wedding. Our gain! We got to visit with them last night at Knit Night, where we took a group photo whilst we were all decked out in our newly minted Knit Night t-shirts (done by Cheryl--thank you so much!). Joel kindly took the pictures for us.

Front row, left to right: Keri, Diane, Beth, me.
Back row, left to right: Paulette, Ciara, Margaret, Cheryl, Vicki, Gail, Mandi.

This was a smaller group than usual. We were missing a few members for various reasons. The big discussion when we were assembling for the photo was to make sure the "aquas" were not all clumped up in one location in the picture. Quite a change from the first picture I posted of our knitting group on my blog. Apparently it pays to advertise.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Long weekend

Well, I have had another 4 day weekend, thanks to the 4th of July!
Here's what I did:

On Friday I cut the grass and did yard work. I watered all the gardens and plants outside. Also went to the grocery store, etc. And got knitting done. The neighbor guy borrowed our year old lawnmower and bent one of the blades on it when he hit a rock. Gotta love it. It better work when I need to use it again.

My sweater is all done. Yippee!

I have now moved on to another shawl. This time it's the Evelyn Clark Flower Basket shawl, with the yummy laceweight yarn I bought on my birthday.

I'm still waiting for my yarn I ordered from Knit Picks to come. I am going to make another lace sweater with it. This one will be a lot cheaper--the yarn was only $20 for the whole sweater.

On Saturday, well it was the 4th of July. I got up at 4:45AM and then drove to Sheboygan to go to the parade, my cousin's wedding (don't get me started about it) and finally, the fireworks. My review of the Sheboygan parade was that it was kind of a dud. There were only two bands in the whole thing. It usually is much better than that. The fireworks were okay. I am sad to report this, because I really like the fireworks. There must have been some sort of temperature inversion or something, because by the end, the smoke from the fireworks obscured the whole end of the show. I mean, you could hear them, but you couldn't see them. It was weird. I got home around midnight.

Here are pictures of the fireworks before they were obscured:

Here are views from my hometown's lakefront:

On Sunday, I went to church and then hung around the house. It was nice.
Yesterday I had legal holiday from the 4th of July. We cleaned the house, went to the grocery store again, and went to the new Hallmark store. I also watered all the gardens again.

Well, it's a short week this week anyhow. And Tuesday is almost over!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Picture time!

In the week since I have posted, lots has happened. Fortunately, a lot has been captured in pictures!

Here we see evidence that Churchill now likes the outdoors:

He still has a pretty serious face when he's outside. He was enjoying himself, though.

My birthday was this past Monday (the 29th). Paulette and went up to Washington Island in Door County. I wanted to go someplace I had never been before.

You have to take the ferry to get to the island:

You can stay in your car or they have cabins on the ferry where you can sit during the trip. We stayed in the car because Paulette can't get around too well these days because she broke a bone in her foot last week Wednesday and is now in a big velcro-cast thing.

Here are some views from the car while we were waiting:

This was prime knitting time! It took at least 35-45 minutes each way. The water was really choppy and I don't do well in choppy water. The knitting really helped.

We ate lunch at the Washington Hotel, Restaurant and Culinary School. Paulette had a Reuben:

I had a smoked turkey sandwich:

The bread was baked there. It was good.

We also went to shop at the Sievers School of Fiber Arts. I want to take a spinning class there.

Here is Paulette holding her lace sock:

And here I am with my nearly completed sweater. Four more rows today and it's done.

I bought some handspun yarn:

On the way back, we stopped at Red Sock Yarns, a new yarn shop in Fish Creek. It is a very nice shop, with lots of selection and lots of places to sit and knit. The owner said that she plans on being open all year long. The shop is located in the Top of the Hill shops, a right turn off Hwy 42 as you are headed out of Fish Creek towards Ellison Bay. I can't think of a more perfect day in winter than snowshoeing in Peninsula State Park, eating lunch in a restaurant in Fish Creek and stopping at a knitting shop. We'll be back there for sure!

My purchase:

It's Ella Rae Lace merino. I am going to wind it this afternoon to start a shawl this evening. I just have to find a pattern yet.

We also stopped at the Cherry Hut, formerly known as Ray's Cherry Hut on Hwy 42 between Fish Creek and Egg Harbor. Paulette bought me a birthday cherry pie!

We couldn't find any birthday candles in the house, so we used a tea light.

Yesterday we went to the special screening of "Public Enemies". And to answer my sister, no, we still had to buy popcorn--it wasn't included in the $30 ticket price. Here's one of the signs from the movie:

And tonight is Knit Night!! I have had a lovely 4 days away from work. Thank you for a splendid birthday, Paulette!