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.

You Spin Me Right Round...

I had a spinning batt that I purchased a long long time ago,  from Loop (on Etsy). The photograph of it alone gave me goose bumps. 100% bamboo. Colorway Mint Chocolate Chip. I mean, come on. Just look at it.

I bought it shortly after I acquired my spinning wheel and promptly put it in the fiber stash, taking it out every so often to drool over it, and then return it to the stash. Frankly, it scared me a little. Wool kind of sticks to itself when you spin it. Bamboo, well, there's not much to hold those fibers together before putting any sort of twist into it. I decided it was time to try it. And I'm quite happy with the results.

It's so shiny and soft. 3 oz turned out a little over 90 yards of worsted weight yarn. I love this color combination something fierce. Now to find a little cowl pattern so I can snuzzle this stuff some more.

With that finished, onto the super sekrit spinning project!
That would be some Spunky Eclectic Corriedale in Rosebud. 4 oz. spun up, 4 to go...


Yesterday, I got my potholder swap package in the mail. After looking at lots of pictures on Ravelry and on Flickr, I was really looking forward to getting my stack. The quality of work my fellow hookers put forth was amazing! And my haul didn't disappoint!


It's nice to have a little ray of sunshine show up in the mail like this - between the torrential rains we've had here lately and my own lot of drama with family and friends alike, it's nice to have a wee bit of happy.

Speaking of happy, the little filly is growing up and turning into quite the horse. Siouxsie will be turning three at the end of this month. My, does time fly! Of course, I have no recent pictures of her, but that's mainly because we've been doing a lot of work lately. No time for pictures! She's accepting a bit regularly, and we will be working up to other pieces of tack over the next few months. My goal is to have her rideable this fall. Hopefully before the end of the year, I'll post a picture of us riding around in the ring! We've had a few rough workouts, mainly because I wasn't in the right frame of mind, and she can really yank my chain when she wants to, but she's been consistently good for the past couple of weeks, and I'm really starting to see a lot of improvement in her attitude. She's still a punk teenager, attitude-wise.

There's been some knitting and some spinning activity, quite increased since I became unemployed. I've got a bunch of almost FOs and new projects cruising along. (And no, Maplewing isn't done yet. Check back in a year. Or two.)

All by myself... sing it with me...

Yup. Got the house all to myself. All day. Most days. While TC is at work, anyway. A few things have happened since I was last able to write. The big one: my company is shutting down my location - where I've worked for over 10 years. I'm now entering my second week of unemployment. It's really quite nice to not have to go to a job I've been less than happy with for a while. It was odd - when they had the big meeting to tell everyone that we were shutting down, most people were visibly upset, and rightfully so. Me, I had to hide my smiles. Yes, we're all losing our jobs, and yes, the job market sucks right now, but this is the opportunity to go do what you love. This is the time to do what makes you happy. So, yay to that. I do have some temporary work coming up, helping to get a startup company off and rolling, which should be exciting. They're certainly excited about their new business, which is a nice change from where I was previously.

The best part of not working is that I have plenty of time to spend with the horse now. She's almost 3 now, and hopefully will be rideable by this summer. Sunday, I put a bit and bridle on her for the first time, and she did great. I'm hopeful that in a month or so, I'll have her saddled and working calmly enough that we might try to sit on her back!

There has also been knitting. And crocheting. I was successful in completing a pair of unlined Fiddlehead Mittens for the Ravelympics. Knit on #2 needles, with single-ply Icelandic wool sportweight yarn bought at Rhinebeck from Frelsi Farms. I still have quite a bit left over, so I'm hoping to do a hat as well. They came out a little snug with the yarn being finer than what was called for, so I may not line them, still deciding on that. I'm really pleased with the natural colors and how they all worked well together.

I've also *just* finished a set of 5 crocheted potholders for the Great Potholder Swap of 2010. Here's the scoop - you make 5 potholders, crochet, double-sided, same pattern, different colors. Mail them in by the deadline. The potholder elves have a grand old time oohing and aahing over everyone's handiwork, and mix em up, and you get 5 different ones back from 5 different people. Not done in time? No worries. There's no pre-obligation. Mail em in if you get em done.

Pattern: Stir Me Up Potholders
Yarn: Takhi Cotton Classic
Hook: 4.0 mm

I'm so happy with the way these came out, I don't want to give them away.  But I've seen the pictures of other swap participants, and I'm anxious to see what comes back to me! Now I'm off to the post office to mail these off - I'm getting them sent just in the nick of time!

MLK Day.

I know I'm a day late here, but I wanted to share some of my favorite quotations of Dr. King's. The pastor at my church grew up in Mississippi in the middle of the civil rights movement. The highest ranking member of the KKK lived in his hometown. He was in the middle of this slice of history that I can only read about, being too young to have lived through any of it. He had friends who knew Dr. King personally. I'm always in awe of the stories he tells. Here are some statements he made in his many speeches and sermons:

  • "True friendship multiplies the good in life and divides its evils. Strive to have friends, for life without friends is like life on a desert island….to find one real friend in a lifetime is good fortune; to keep him is a blessing." 
  •  "A friend is someone, who upon seeing another friend in immense pain, would rather be the one experiencing the pain than to have to watch their friend suffer." 
  • "In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." 
  •  "Ultimately the bond of all companionship, whether in marriage or in friendship, is conversation." 
  •  "Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right." 
  •  "Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." 
  •  "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." 
  • "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."  
 And my favorite excerpt from all of his sermons can be heard and read here: http://www.thekingcenter.org/.

Good stuff. Profound stuff. Stuff to bring you back to center. 


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