Saturday, September 29, 2007

I like bread and butter

I love making bread--I always have. I remember trying out different breads and trying to make soft pretzels in high school..there's just something about it.
Inspired by this post I decided also to make homemade butter.
It was fun and it tastes so good. I can't stop eating it. Hubby thinks I'm weird because I keep tasting the butter.


So I am cruising along on my Dad's Birthday socks.
I swatched Thursday afternoon, cast on Thursday night and got about 2 inches done by the end of Grey's Anatomy.
I knit in little spurts yesterday when the kids were playing quietly or napping and now I have this:

Not bad for the first 24 hours or so of knitting.
I am ready to turn the heel and will make more of a dent in it this evening.
I'm doing a simple Garter Rib and it's looking very nice.

It's hard to take pictures of this yarn as it very dark--Fleece Artist's "Ebony" (I think, although I love playing the match-y match-y game on their website, it would be helpful if they labelled their bands)

The promised Jitterbug sock picture:

This one has a nice closeup.

So, that's the updates for now.
I promise not to show every inch of sock--so I might not post again until something is finished.

Obligatory cute kid picture:

Princess B has been begging for more sushi, and since hubby was out last night (he doesn't care for it) --we made some "Cali rolls" as she sometimes calls them. They were yummy and she has totally mastered the chop sticks.

That's it for me.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Funny thing about socks

The more you knit on them, the longer they get.
Who'd a thunk it???

Jitterbug sock is now way above my ankle--(no pictures because camera batteries died) but it will be put on hold for a bit because....
I cast on another sock.
I've been after my Dad for a week or so to send me his measurements so I could knit him socks for his birthday.
He was here last weekend and I totally forgot. He did a drive by visit to our house Wed night and I got out the measuring tape--yesterday I swatched and last night I cast on.
I'm doing a basic toe up sock with a Garter Rib stitch in some Fleece Artist sock yarn that I've had for a year.
I hope I can get them done by next Saturday--but the good thing about this pattern is that it's easy to memorize and I can just knit a little bit at a time...that's the plan anyways.

Olive Bark is finished and plied

and set and pretty....

I'm very happy with it.
It's my first attempt at a 3 ply and they plying is by far my best yet.
the picture are a little blurry and the colour is a bit off--it's about halfway between the colour on the bobbin and what is above (and then the camera batteries died)

I think it will be a baby gift..
If/when I get these socks done.

This is my Friday Fibre content....
Happy weekend.
I hope to get a lot knit on the socks. Hubby is working all weekend--well, gone all night and gone all day tomorrow so the kids won't see him until Sunday probably. I hope things are quiet and that I stay awake long enough to knit (fell asleep after Grey's Anatomy last night..Did you see it? Can anyone tell me what happened in the last 10 minutes?? My silly sister called..and she was watching it too....)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ooooh the pretty

This gets it's own post because it's pretty and because there is a story behind it.
So, I belong to this message board for a podcast that I love.
On the mb they were talking about Crown Mountain Farms Roving.
(For those that don't know Crown Mountain Farms are known for their "sock hop" sock yarns that are spun from these rovings. They have fun names like "Brown Eyed Girl" "Wild Thing" "Aint' No Mountain High Enough"
You can see the colourways here and see the sock yarn here. Basically as soon as they put up the whole lot of sock yarns, they sellout almost immediately)
So, on the mb they were indicating that CMF will do wholesale orders for orders over $1,000.
A big group of us got together and bought some roving to get the wholesale pricing.

We ordered in August and shipments were going out beginning of September.
Then the yuckiest thing happened.
Teyani, who is the incredible dyer who came up with all these colourways (39 in total) accidentally slammed her hand in the car door and damaged her fingers/hand.
So...long story short--she won't be dyeing for a while and we got the last available rovings to be had!
I'm very excited.
Usually I wouldn't participate in something like this--because of $--but since I had a stash of funds from my store, and I thought this roving to be very pretty, highly praised etc etc, I decided to go for it, and I'm so glad I did.
Behold, the pretty:

Heard it Through the Grapevine

Wild Thing

Brown Eyed Girl

and It's My Party

I am so happy right now. This was the best mail day ever!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Wednesday? I haven't posted since Wednesday??

Maybe that's why I'm down a couple of readers on bloglines.
I think my lack of enthusiasm in posting is catching.

Anyways, I have some stuff to show you:

Sock is going well, I've only really done knitting on it a little bit at a time (when the kids are playing quietly which doesn't happen for long stretches), in the car, waiting for a pot to boil etc.
I hope to get to the heel soon and keep this motivation going.


"Olive Bark" is all spun up and ready for plying.
There is a new tutorial in
Knitty about plying that I think I will read a couple of times before I try this. I think my plying needs work and I really want to get better at it because....(actually I will save that secret for tomorrow--it deserves a post of it's own)

Look-y what I got!

It helps to know people who know things. I went into our library to pick up my latest installment/addiction (Kathy
Reichs book #8) and the Librarian who is part of our Spinning Guild told me that she saw an antique drum carder at a store about 15 minutes from my town.
Hubby was with the kids so I decided to just drive right out there to find it.
It was in the basement and when I asked the owner the story behind it--he said he had had it for about 8-10 years and didn't know anything else about it!
definitely needs cleaning and oiling and there is a broken piece of wood (you can see it at the front in the picture) but I'm sure hubby can fix that.
If it doesn't end up working, it was a decent gamble and I will be happy with having tried to make it work.

hope that hubby will be able to fix it soon so I can get working on the fleece. I want to keep working on this regularly so that I can get knitting.

So, TV season has started and watching Prison Break and Heroes' tonight got me to the heel of my sock. Tomorrow I will actually start the heel and I hope to get some good knitting time in during a playgroup. I haven't been in more than a year and it's a good chance to connect with an old friend from work.
So, tomorrow there will be more pretty pictures and hopefully more sock to see.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


has got to stop.

Really bad picture but this is what my front yard/street has looked like all summer.
They have been replacing the sewage/water pipes on our street.
We have not been able to park in our driveway since June. This blurry picture is from 2 weeks ago when they finally took pity on me trying to pull a stroller backwards up the incline, stepping over rocks, concrete pieces and getting stuck in the dirt--and gave us a driveway.

This is the driveway I was so excited about..blurry picture because I was just that excited.
(seriously, who takes a picture of a dirt driveway???)
Then they took it away again so that they could do the curbs.
It's kind of annoying to park around the corner while:
a) carrying a 2 year old
b) carrying 10 bags of groceries
c) walking through the MUD in your Church clothes
sigh--i know i am complaining--but today, AGAIN the construction outside our house woke Aidan up from his 20 minute nap.
The child has been up since 6am, he NEEDS to sleep.
The gigantic trees that they cut down that fall and shake the house, the jackhammers at 6:30am, the dirt everywhere, cutting through the gas line making our whole neighbourhood smell of gas TWICE, the not being able to even walk to our car because the neighbours have no front lawn.
I'm tired of it.
and I think now i need some coffee to cope with crying, screaming, whining sick children who just want some sleep.

*Later* Whew, that was yucky
I'm better now.
Wanna see why???

It's a skein of "Zulu Knitty" from Scout's Swag.
It's apparently an "Oops" skein that had some colour transfer, so it's discounted--I can't see anything wrong with it--and it's dreamy.

My first Loopy Ewe order arrived.
I ordered some Trekking because I've never tried it before and it's pretty.
I also ordered some laceweight to do the Secret Shawl. I signed up for it forever ago but didn't actually knit it with the KAL because I've not really done lace before and I wanted to find some laceweight.
This stuff is the same Yarn that the Harlot used and blogged about, so I thought it would pass the test.
I will try to knit this in little bits--I need some beads first.
and Sheri (of the Loopy Ewe) included some sample of Regia Silk and Bamboo as well as a needle inventory set. Cool beans.

I think now when my son is not sleeping and the construction is making my teeth chatter (like now, how on earth could a truck up the street be that loud)--I will look at my yarn and I will be happy.

Oh, and ARRRRG
It's International Talk Like a Pirate Day.
I give you this yarn:

I actually named it "Arggggg"
I intend to put it in my shop later today--but if anyone wants it from here, I'll sell it for $16 US plus shipping.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Some pretty things

Aidan's Socks
Originally uploaded by thechickswithsticks.

I need some pictures to show on this blog.
Luckily these socks are FINALLY finished. I know that my son has huge feet, but there is no reason why these took me so long.
These were knit with what was left of the Opal "Zebra" yarn that I knit hubby's socks with.
I did measured and did a gauge swatch and fudged "Generic" toe up pattern.
The cuff is short, because--there was not much yarn left.

I also did some dyeing last week for the first time in forever--dyed up 8oz of some superwash merino roving likely to be spun into a t-shirt of sweater for me.
I'm thinking this, but that it's pretty summery, so we'll see.

I started some new socks.

I think I am in love.

For whatever reason the Jitterbug was calling to me.
I think it wanted to be some plain toe up socks--but I'm going to try to make toe-up Monkeys, since my other Monkey's might be garbage.
Oh, did I ever post about that??
I washed them for the first time by soaking them in Eucelan. I accidentally soaked them overnight and ever since then, well, they are nasty.
They smell.
I cannot describe the smell. Think dirty diaper left in a hot car (or something. No, I have never done that, but that's about the most foul smell I could think of right now)
I have rinsed them, soaked them over and over and over but the smell lingers.
Plus the dye all ran together which means my striped Pink, Black and Red socks are now a smelly grey, dingy mess.
I think they are going to the g.a.r.b.a.g.e. (I didn't even want to spell that outright because the thought of throwing out socks that co$$T that much and were so pretty is sickening)

Anyways, the Jitterbug socks might make up for that. Did I mention I love the yarn??
It's got a nice tight twist, it's springy and smooshy (words that sock knitters know) and the colours are amazing.

It's the "Bright Charcoal" colourway which is predominantly grey and black--but there are little smatterings of colour that peek through--emerald green, burgundy, sapphire blue.

It's dreamy

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Work? I'm going to work ???

Yes, I was at work today. Well not so much work as sitting all day at court.
Did I ever tell you what I did in my previous life (before little man and knitting and dyeing and spinning??)
I was a Social Worker/Child Protection worker for the Children's Aid Society.
I investigated and assessed abuse and neglect of children.
Fun times.
I loved the people I worked with--some of the hardest working people I have ever met.
I left that job to stay home with the kids and have not looked back.
Monday night I get a message from my friend at work that I was being subpoenaed to court for a trial, on a case I had 3 years ago. Gak!
I went to work on Tuesday to review the file, picked up some more notes last night and was all set for 10:30am today---which became noon, which became 2pm...and then got frazzled when they asked for me out of turn from other witnesses.
But it's over--I think I only tripped over my tongue 8 times--not bad for 45 minutes of testimony and 4 lawyers.

All done now.

Afterwards I bought myself and iced caramel macchiato and was going to look for yarn stores to soothe my soul but decided against it. I did receive some lovely laceweight alpaca and a book from yogurt and granola.
That is just what I needed today.
The kids are out with hubby for something to eat (the smell of burned rice overwhelmed me and the house when I got home--and I am going to veg, watch a movie and play with yarn tonight)

That is all.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pickles, Pea Soup and Postage

Pretty original title huh??
Pickles are there because I cracked and finally opened a jar from my homemade pickles.
Princess B requested a ham,cheese, pickle, tomato, green and red pepper sandwich for lunch--which is fine and that is what she ordered at Subway for "first day of school" supper.
They are pretty dilly--but good.
Pea Soup is what I am having for lunch.

*wow I just googled this for a picture and had NO IDEA that this is considered a delicacy*
weird, but it is good.

Postage--i am on a rant again about mailing things to Canada.
Why on earth is it so expensive for US companies to ship to Canada?? Why is it more expensive for me to ship to Canadian customers than the US or Europe??
Why has it taken more than 2 weeks for me to receive the 4 parcels I am still waiting for???

Side note-I have to plug Wool2Dye4 again. Sheila is wonderful. I tried to check postage to order some more roving from her--she informed me of the best rate and that means I can order 5 times as much for the same shipping that I paid before. She is doing what she can to make sure that things work for all her customers--Canadian or not.
This is exciting for me, because otherwise I'd have to add $3 per item to cover my shipping costs--and that stinks.

But, I hope to have lots more roving soon--which means more dyeing.
I haven't felt inspired to dye lately. I don't know what's wrong--whether it's still the blahs that have been lasting all summer--whether my sleep is off or what.
I used to dye when hubby was out at night and he hasn't had evening meetings all summer.
Who knows.
If you have some colour inspiration or dyeing mojo--send it this way.

I have some colourway ideas and a theme project I've been wanting to do, but we'll see.

For knitting: still working on little man's zebra socks--almost to the heel of the 2nd sock.
I want to knit that Shetland shawl again, now that I know how the pattern will work out.
I will be starting again on my Ribby Cardi if the weather stays cool.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Fair

Was fun.
I spun Friday night from 5 till about 9:30. Spoke with many people--talked about fibre, dyeing, my home made wheel.
It seems that men and children were the most interested in the spinning.
Go figure.

I walked around a bit and had some onion rings that I've been craving for weeks.
Saturday we went back to the fair late in the afternoon to do rides and food with the kids.
**and for me to have my deep fried Mars bar---soooooo good and worth every penny**

Yesterday we went back again to clean up hubby's booth and pick up my prizes.

The red ribbon was for my Bread, the green (3rd place) for my Salsa--the light purple ribbon is an "Honourable Mention" which my little scarf was awarded.
I found someone on Ravelry that has knit that shawl, and it actually is a shawl. She told me how to make the increases to make it larger. It's not written in the pattern (which is why I couldn't figure it out) but I guess just a given, if you've knit lace before.
Princess B is so excited now that she gets to wear the purple hat.

My friends children did the 4-H sheep club and did presentations and demonstrations this weekend. They have Shetlands at their house and used some of my fibre and a baby skein to show as "finished products".

At the Guild meeting last week, one member brought her drum carder so I got to try one out for the first time. I made 4 batts and spun one that day and spun the rest this week and Friday at the fair. It is turning out into a beautiful tweedy/heathered colour.

I can't wait to card more and get spinning this fleece finally.

And in other news, I signed up for the Spunky Eclectic Fibre Club.
It's $10 per month (plus $5 shipping, with no extra charges for Canadian orders!!!)
I can cancel any time--but I figure that I will get an amazing opportunity to try out some different fibres, with exclusive colours for $10 (which is an AMAZING deal).
I started a group over at flickr for creations with Amy's yarns.
I called it the "Spunky Junkies", with Amy's blessings.

So, there shall be more spinning to show soon.
I'm trying my first 3 ply with the roving I got from Insubordiknit.

I need to get some more roving.
I just gave away my last batch of undyed stuff- and I need to do some natural dyeing for the Guild--for a Christmas tree decorating Charity event for Christmas.
I was thinking of trying to learn to needle felt as well--to felt a little Earth since the theme is "Green" (all natural--which is why we are doing natural dyeing)

It's off to get school supplies for Princess B--she goes for 3 days this week.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth

First Day of School.


At 8:15 Thursday morning if you stood outside, wherever you were in the world, you might have heard sobbing.
(I actually wrote this post on Thursday, but then haven't posted it, too busy crying and being too busy)

That was me--dropping Princess B off for her first day of school

Due to some drama and glitches in registration from not 1 but 2 schools--she missed the actual first day of school on Tuesday, so today is her first day.
(No, we didn't tell her that she missed the first day--I
MIGHT tell her when she's 25. My Mother missed my first day of school b/c of work and never forgave herself...)
So, anyways.

She was excited--she RAN to school once she saw other kids.

She got to play in the yard until the bell rang and the Teacher had the kids line up.

That's when she got nervous and asked her Daddy to walk her inside (I was too busy crying and trying to hide my crying by talking to Aidan in the stroller).
Hubby helped her find her
cubby hole, told her to have a good day and she ran to sit on the mat. She gave him a thumbs up and said she'd be fine.
I was still sobbing walking away from the school and told hubby
Some caffeine and a chocolate croissant later, I was feeling okay.
I knew she'd be fine. I knew she'd have a great day. I knew she'd make friends (this kid is the most social kid ever--she wants to know
everyone's name including the girls at the check out counter, the garbage man and/or any child she has ever seen)

But this is also the kid that is with me every day, talking to me every moment she is awake.
What is someone is mean to her?
What if someone pushes her or is not nice.
(I have joked with a friend of mine about standing outside the playground where she can't see me and just watching her play).
She has already wondered "what if the Teacher doesn't like me?" "What if I ask her a question and she doesn't hear me?"
But then a few minutes later was telling her Dad "I can't wait to be in school with JUST KIDS, no Moms or Dads".

and you know what? She was fine.
She ran out to me and the first thing she said? "She gave us PAPER!"
Apparently when the Teacher gives you paper, that is the coolest thing ever.
She got to "go outside 3 times".
all sorts of fun and funny comments from her day.
She doesn't remember
anyone's name, except the Teacher (whose name I'm not sure I can pronounce).

I had a nice morning teaching a friend to spin on a drop spindle, and lending her some fibre for the fair.
I cleaned and had some quiet time while Aidan slept and then we did our usual downtown walk, bought her some flowers and went to pick her up at school.

We had a swim, ate Subway for dinner (her choice) and I gave her some presents
(A Princess lamp for her room, Pink crocks and the coolest thing ever that I bought from here)

So, the day has come and gone and now I can get used to a whole new adventure with these two:

Next week she goes for 3 days.
Pass the Kleenex

Friday, September 07, 2007

Home from the fair

My bread won first place!
My salsa won 3rd.
My handspun, and baby hat--got nothing.
My little, ahem, shawl, got Honourable Mention.

I got to spin for about 4.5 hours, invited some people to the guild and our Show and Sale.
Saw some friends, met some people--had some onion rings.
I am happy.
all I needed was a deep fried Mars bar, but I didn't want to sticky my spinning.
Maybe tomorrow

Wow actual finished items

Cotton Hat
Originally uploaded by thechickswithsticks.

This is another Child's Cotton Hat, done in Mission Falls Cotton.
This is going to be an entry into our County Fair that starts tonight.

The little bit of yarn on the book?? That's what was left over from the ball. I didn't think I'd have enough to finished the i-cord as I needed at 10inch sample to include with my fair entry. Whew, I just made it.

I am also putting in a skein of handspun (only 1 skein allowed per person), a small neck scarf made from my Shetland handspun, some Bread and some salsa.
It's my first time entering anything-but our Guild was told that the Handspinning might be cut from the program if people didn't enter.
I'll also be spinning at the Fair tonight from 5-10pm.

I started some Mohair baby booties too, but since I only started them yesterday afternoon, I didn't get them done before the cut off last night (I almost made it).

I also entered my handspun Shetland, um, scarf.
This is the "lace shawl" I blogged about in weeks past, but apparently never posted a picture of.

The pattern is here and is supposed to be knittable with any size yarn.

Well, I figured out a good needle size and this is what I got:.

It's only slightly larger than my hand. So, I entered it as a neck Kerchief, and we'll see what happens.

I was just trying to bump up the handspun handknit entries as others in the guild had some items...

Anyways, I think I shall cast on another pair of socks--I have a couple of test knitting patterns I want to try out.

Have a happy weekend!!!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

No pictures.

If you want pictures, you can move along.
This is just an update post.
The wheel--is still mine. Apparently there are no returns from that store.
I am still going to see if anyone from the guild wants it--but otherwise hubby will have fun playing with it, and making it work.

I gifted my sister with the "Delight" handspun for her birthday. She was happy--she just kept ooohing and aaahing over it.
I also gave her some Merino/Tencel to try out.
AND--tonight my friend V (Hi V) bought 2 more skeins of my yarn--that's makes 5.
She has finished 2 pairs of socks from my dyeing adventures, so I will have to take pictures and create a gallery.

Anyone else out there actually knit from my stuff yet???
If you have a picture, send it to me and i'll create a gallery
sprouty25 AT gmail DOT com

that's it for tonight.
I'm swatching for Princess B's slippers....and she is "sittin knittin" with me (wrapping a ribbon around a piece of plastic). So. cute.