New directions...

Hello.. Hello? Is this thing on?

Wow, the dust has been accumulating here. Stay tuned, if you're still reading at all. New things are afoot, complete with a potential new location.



October's pictures were threatened by a catastrophic failure of my beloved iPhone. I had to perform a system restore and lost anything I had done since my last backup, which luckily had only been a few days. It was a tough month, a lot going on. We moved into the new house, TC and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary, and the first anniversary of Bean's passing came and went. Lots of ups and downs. But having Miss V here to keep us busy has certainly helped get us through some of the tough days.

Part of the reason I'm doing an entire project 365 of nothing but Miss V is that I look back at pictures of Bean and hate the fact that they're a finite amount. That's all there is, and all there will ever be. There were days that I didn't take any pictures of her, and I feel like those days are lost forever now. I found a great app for the iPhone, and have been taking a picture of V every day. It's nice looking back and seeing where she's been and what we've been doing every day of her life so far.

Knitting progress has been slow, for obvious reasons. I am about halfway through a pair of mittens that I can't tell you about, a hat that requires 9" of stockinette in the round on #3 needles, and other languishing projects that are begging for my attention. Not to mention the pounds of alpaca fiber that still sit in my fiber basket next to my wheel. Once the house is unpacked and settled, and V becomes a little more independent (she's a snuggler, and I love it), hopefully I'll be ready to rock. :)

This would be why I've not been posting...

August 365

September 365 

It's been a wee bit busy here. :) All is well, everyone's healthy and happy. More to come once I get a good night's sleep...

Cruel Summer

Man, it has been one heck of a summer here in the Northeast. Hot, humid, not a lot of rain or relief from the weather. It's been the #1 reason a lot of my plans for the season have become somewhat derailed. Knitting and spinning in this heat is just gross. I attempted the Tour de Fleece this year, only to fall woefully short. Just too sticky to handle alpaca fiber. Ick. Working the horse is almost inhumane, for both her and I. TC and I have taken a couple of weekend trips, however. We were in Maine a few weekends ago, and the weather cooperated with our plans. The dew point was down, and there was a nice cool ocean breeze for the entire weekend. It was lovely.

I've had to pick and choose days to keep Siouxsie working. She's almost to the point where she can be ridden. 
She will walk, trot and canter nicely on the line, and she's been wearing my big old western saddle most days, if it's not too hot. I've tried to belly up on her a bit, but as you may notice upon further inspection of the picture, I've got a bit of my own belly in the way.

We've been keeping it as quiet as possible, because it's just a difficult thing to talk about some days, but we are expecting again. In fact, I'm due in 19 days. After Bean was gone, we had a wonderful counselor who asked us if we were going to have more kids someday. I said of course, I want 10 kids, and I want them yesterday. So she asked if we were trying to get pregnant again. We said no, and she said, "Why? You know it takes 9 months to make a baby. That's a lot of waiting..." and we realized she was right. We found out we were pregnant again on Christmas Eve, and it just made the holidays bearable. We still missed our little girl, but knowing we had something to look forward to helped a lot.

Baby knitting commenced as soon as we found out we were having another little girl. I has wanted to spin and knit a BSJ for Bean, but I hadn't gotten around to it. This time, I was not going to let the same thing happened. So my seekrit spinning and knitting made this:
...which, when folded up all sneaky and the like, makes this:
The yarn is spun from Spunky Eclectic fiber, 100% Corriedale wool, colorway "Rosebud". I'm not a huge fan of pink, but the raspberry tones and the green really caught my eye. I spun enough yarn that I made a matching set of booties and have plenty of leftovers for another baby sweater. I have yet to put on the perfect little ladybug buttons and give it a wash. I'm hoping to full the sweater a bit to fluff up the wool so this will be the perfect fall coat for the Bug. If you've never knit one of these, I highly recommend it. It's a fun knit, easy to do, and amazing how it all works out.

I'm finally to the point where I'm ready to have this kid. Not only has this weather done me in, but the psychological aspect of what's about to happen has done me in as well. Being 9 months pregnant in public is tough most days. The innocent questions that strangers ask cut right to the quick: "Is this your first?" Sometimes I lie and say yes. Because it's easier. Being pregnant again is a good thing, but it's not 100% happy. It's as terrifying as it is joyous. I'm thankful that I can have another child, don't get me wrong, I just want to blend into the woodwork again. And just when I'm at the end of my rope, my girls surprise me. They got together and made me a gorgerous blanket for the Bug (see Melody's post all about it here). They had been working on it for a while, and I had no idea. I was touched. Not only because they thought of me, but they also thought of my mom (who has a wool allergy) and made the blanket out of non-wool yarn so Grammie can snuggle with her granddaughter without getting hives. Ladies, you kick ass.

And just in case that wasn't enough for us, TC and I are in the process of buying and renovating a house. The day after we signed papers, this sign went up on all entrances to the house:

Mold. Lots of it. We knew it was there, and we knew it had to be remedied. Half of the house was literally removed. Walls, floor, cabinets, some studs, and carpet. A crew of guys in hazmat suits and respirators working in oppressive heat and humidity. Once it was cleared out, the contractors got to work. We're hoping to move in 2-3 months, knowing we couldn't get things done before the Bug was born. Why go through all this trouble? We like our current house. We have no reason to move. BUT - this house is in the neighborhood where I grew up, and it was a foreclosure. Even with all the additional work, we're getting this house for super cheap. We almost can't afford to do this right now, but in the long run, it will all be worth it.

So, lots to come! Pictures and updates on a baby, a horse, and a house... and maybe more knitting. Busy busy!

Not so seekrit?

Seekrit knitting completed. Photo taken prior to seaming and finishing...

Slow and Steady.

Time seems to have slowed to a crawl around here. When you're waiting around for things, it's amazing how the days stretch out...

The super sekrit project is almost done, Just need to find the right buttons. They can make such a big impact! And, in making sure I had enough yarn, I have been making additional odds and ends with the crapton of leftover I have. Again, finishing touches need to happen, and I'll post some glamour shots once I take them. I also may or may not have a few fleeces coming my way. That should help pass the time, right?

This month was tough. TC and I found ourselves withdrawing from things and keeping close to each other. The bean's birthday was last week, and we were just bracing for that day coming and going without her here to celebrate. The double whammy was Fathers Day hitting too. It's a feeling I hope nobody I know will ever have to experience. I've learned a lot in this past year. It has held the happiest and the most devastating moments of my life. To have such an emotional roller coaster in such a short period of time is absolutely overwhelming. It's with us every day, and will be until we're no longer walking the earth. TC and I are lucky to have some wonderful family and friends who have helped us through all of this. For that, we are so very thankful.

Outside of the knitting and spinning, Siouxsie (the pony) maintains her role as my therapist. I finally was able to put a saddle on her last week, and she was a model student. At this rate, I'm thinking she could take a rider in a month or so, especially once I fix my sad, old western saddle. I need a new cinch and off billet, since it's been sitting in the tack room unused since it was last worn by my beloved Chevy, in 2005. Rusty and crusty. Better (and safer) to get new.

Hopefully some nice findings will make their way to me, and I'll have some photos up next time!

No work and all fiber makes Jack a happy boy.

I have finally finished spinning and plying the wool for the super sekrit project. It turned out better than I had hoped - I'm really happy with the development of my spinning skills. I set out to make a DK-ish weight out of 8 oz of fiber, hoping to get about 600 yards.

Spunky Eclectic Fiber
100% Corriedale
Colowray Rosebud
8 oz, 14 WPI
~650 yards

I'm so pleased. This spinning project has restored my love of spinning, both on the wheel and with a spindle. I recently acquired a new Bosworth spindle, adding to the one I bought at Rhinebeck a while ago. It's a Midi, made of Bloodwood, and weighs 1.3 oz.

Bloodwood Bosworth Midi

This is my other spindle, a Bosworth Mini in Canarywood, weighing in at .57 oz. I love the natural iridescence to this wood.

Canarywood Bosworth Mini

I've got my eye on a few new spindles, so we'll see what might show up in the mail. I also rejoined the Spunky Club, so I should be getting some new fiber over the next few months. I'm glad that with all the knitting that I'm trying to get done right now, I have found time to get back to spinning. I've already begun to prep the next wheel project, 4 oz of 50/50 Merino/Tencel, that will become a pair of socks.

The other thing that's getting lots of time lately is the horse. Siouxsie has been making wonderful progress in her training. She can still be a handful, but no more rearing up and other stupid things. She has been working well, and I'm hoping to have a saddle on her in a month or so, and hopefully a rider soon after that. She's grown to 15 hands now, and doesn't look like a youngster anymore. I attempted to get some pictures of her the other day, but between her and the three yearlings, camera curiosity was the death of every shot I tried to take. We'll have another go at it next week.

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