Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve

All the best for the New, joy and peace.
We did get that snow in time for Christmas!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas cheer from our family to yours!

I'm up early, the house is very quiet and dark. Coffee is hot and so good. It's nice to have a bit of time to catch my breath before everyone gets up.

As if this time of the year is not hectic enough, our beautiful Emma gave birth to 12 puppies on Christmas Eve!
You read right, 12.
Why do dogs give birth at night (most of the time)? She started at 1am and kept at it till lunch time on the 24th!

Emma is very tired but doing well. We are keeping 24 hour watch on the pups to make sure they are all warm and far so good!

(you will not find 12 of them in this picture...only a few)
The cowl for Nameless is done and blocking as I write the time we open gifts this afternoon, it will be wrapped and under the tree!!
I'll have pictures next time.

My mother is with us for a few days. Being the first Christmas without my dad, our thoughts and conversations often go to him. It's good to be together.
Hugs to all of you and enjoy your day!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Lights out for two

A migraine kept me pinned to my bed for the past two days. *sigh* After seeing countless doctors, naturopaths, physio therapist, massage therapists, accupuncturists...I have still not been able to find anyone that can make them go away. *sigh*
Oh, well, just get up and get on with life.

My yarn is spun and last minute gift is casted on.
No pressure for the last minute knitting...if it's not done for Christmas, I will wrap it while still on the needles! Nameless will understand that the gift will be done in the week following Christmas.
I must show you this scarf. The colours are so great...blend of pinks, purples, yellows.

The shape is more or less circular, since the cast on of 130 stitches is doubled on the third row to almost 260 stitches.

The amount of stitches is doubled one more time just before the 1 x 1 rib on the edge.

Patterns: 28's cousin 53! (available for free on Ravelry)
Yarn: my hand dyed fingering 100% merino
Needles: 4.5 mm circular needles
Modification: kept knitting the 1 x 1 rib till I almost ran out of yarn.

The pattern says there is no need to block but I chose to steam it with my iron just to take away all puckers. I prefer it that way.

I will do a bit of baking today, so I'll have a few things on hand for the weekend.
I hope the next few days before Christmas will not be too stressful for you, take the time to breathe and enjoy the moment. First thing we'll know, it will be Monday and all over with.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Moving along

Christmas preparations are still going on.

This morning I got most of the gift wrapping done. I don't think I'll put them under the tree yet in case our grand daughter comes over and thinks Santa has come early!

After cleaning the basement floor, I took a few hours off to sit at my wheel and spin.
Tomorrow I will hopefully finish spinning this fiber and I'll let it rest 24 hours before I ply it. (Fingers crossed I will get it done by Sunday so I can cast on.)

I read several knitting blogs. A favorite of mine, is Knitted Bliss, written by a Northern girl from Sudbury now living in southern Ontario.  In today's post,  Julie invites those of us that want to join in The Versatile Blogger Award to do so.
The rules are:
1. Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass this award along to recently discovered blogs you enjoy reading.
4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.
So here goes with sharing 7 things about myself.

1. I don't love chocolate. (What do you mean, I'm not human!) I'll avoid it or have a tiny bite and be happy with that.

2. I love potato chips, yup, could have those every day of the week!
3. When I was in university, I read the entire French dictionnary. I come from a small town where everyone spoke french but with a lot of slang. It was time to improve on my vocabulary. I have always loved the power of words. I am easily touched by well spoken words.

4. On the subject of being french speaking...I have a lot of trouble with correctly using English expressions. (You might have noticed while reading my blog that I write kinda funny's just the way it is in English for me but in French, I can talk a million miles an hour) I met my hubby at the age of 17 and spoke a very basic English. All of my friends and relatives were french speaking. I worked in a very french environment my whole life. So English is still a second language to me. I get the english expressions mixed up and hubby and I laugh a lot about it. For example, the other night I told him that someone was trying to pull the hood over his head. He laughed and said: Do you mean pull the wool over my eyes?

5. I would love to learn Spanish. I took courses in university but never kept up with it. I love the musicality of that language. I would also love to know what the words of those beautiful latin songs mean. Maybe something to look forward to in the near future.
6. I have been driving Honda CRVs for a long long time. Best vehicule on the market! I can put a few dogs in the back or pieces of furniture I find here and there. Will always own a CRV.

7. I'm a movie addict. I can watch four/five movies in a row, no problem. I set myself up with my knitting, a hot tea and a bowl of chips (ok, not a bowl but the whole bag...see # 2 above).  In this house, I watch movies with a bunch of dogs around me since hubby prefers sports).

Everyone is invited to participate is you are inclined to do so. Let me know if you decide to.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


It happens every year...I think I have so much time before Christmas and first thing I know, there is only 10 days left! I mean, really, where does time go?
Last weekend, I decided to add  more knitting to the list. (The knitting mojo had kinda left me for a few weeks. I'm so happy it's back!)
I had two handspun skeins of this merino/silk blend and decided to cast on for a cowl. It's almost done now and I will cast off by the weekend. I'll be back with a picture next week. But this is actually a test knit...not for someone on the list. It will be mine.
Someone (that shall remain nameless for now) had put a Roots cowl on her Christmas list this year...made out of 100% acrylic. When you're a knitter, it's very hard to love that stuff. It feels soft at first but does it have any warmth value to it? And how can I send her out in the world with an acrylic cowl when I have beautiful yarns in my stash?
I did not want to make it super long but long enough to be wrapped twice around the neck... So I've modified the pattern a bit. And I had two skeins of this green colour to make sure I had enough...turns out I will need all of both skeins.

I have some blue handspun merino for Nameless's cowl...BUT only one skein spun. Luckily I have another braid I can spin...this weekend. I think I've just set myself up for some last minute knitting. I hope to have the second skein spun, washed and dried by Sunday so that I can start knitting on Monday and have it knitted, blocked and wrapped by Saturday!!!

We are having some unseasonal weather this week...enough with the rain  please!
The fields are a mess, dogs and alpacas are wet and muddy. Temperatures will be dropping tomorrow and those puddles in the yard will turn to ice...Please send snow our way...NOW!

Oh, the craft show went really well...beyond my expectations! I had a great time.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Witty Artisan craft show

Go for it!
That's what I decided to do with all of my hand dyed yarn, fiber, stitch markers etc in my studio. Decided to join a wonderful group of people and participate in their Christmas craft show.
The Witty Artisans 2011 Christmas craft show is happening at The Portage  Restaurant and Function Hall on Sunday December 4th from 10 to 4.
Come and join us if you can!

Here is a sample of what I'll be offering.

Wire words for the obssessed yarn collector on your Christmas list.

Stitch markers

Hand dyed lace yarn
65% wool / 35% silk

Hand dyed sock yarn

Sheep soap

I will also have some project bags and gift bags ready to give away to your favorite knitter or to  yourself!
Do come and see us, you won't be disappointed with all the talented artisans present. And wouldn't it be nice to be able to cross off a few names on your Christmas list!
Winter update: We got our fair share of snow last night! At least 8 to 10 inches in some spots. Buses were cancelled and roads were icy. Well, might as well get used to it as it's only the beginning!
I love to see children in very bright winter clothes. It's such a pop of colour next to fresh white snow!

Our grand daughter spent the day with me today. We HAD to go outside to play! (Let me tell you, I'll sleep very well tonight).  And look how that little hat made with my handspun yarn is so perfect with her snow suit. As I was knitting it, I thought that the bright green was a little too much...who would have thought that it would be the perfect match to the suit.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

First snow

We had our first (little) snowfall this morning!
Makes the landscape look so nice. I was looking forward to my morning visit with the animals and fully intended to take my time and enjoy the fresh snow.
So, after coffee, out the door I went.
Thought I would take my camera and capture the wonderful feeling that fresh snow can bring.
As I step into the alpaca pasture, they all come running to greet me. They know it's feeding time and want to make sure I head for the barn.
 But then something unexpected happenned!
See the look of concern on their face? Or is it a confused look?

Even the dogs were unsure of what happened.
As I stepped from the walkway onto the grass area, I ended up flat on my back so quickly I did not even have time to react. Camera still in hand, while I was down there I figured I'd show you the reason for the splat!
Rubber boots!
No traction!
I guess this is good enough reason to put those away and take out the winter boots!

No more greens to find in the pastures, the hay bar is a popular gathering spot.

In order to keep a bit of summer greenery, a small herb pot with parsley and rosemary is now in the house. Hopefully we get enough sun to keep it going for a while longer and we can enjoy them in our cooking.

Getting ready for a craft show...happening this weekend.
Pics and more on this tomorrow.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hat and cowl

Today looks like it will be a perfect day. Beautiful morning sun. Crisp cool air. Quiet house. Nothing urgent to get done. Perfect.

My Helix scarf is slow going, so I decided to take break from it and look for some quick knits to do.
I had bought this wonderful Alpaca/Wool yarn last winter. It's Fleece Artist Aran Alpaca.

When I saw the Bandana cowl pattern, I knew I had to have one. It comes to a deep v in the front, it will be warm even though my coat is not zipped up to my neck. It took two evenings of knitting to complete. It has a lot of W&T (wrap and turn) but they are easy to do.

With lots of yarn left, I started to look for a hat pattern and came across the Amanda hat. This also took two evenings of knitting. 

I love the fit of this hat. Because it doesn't have a ribbed edge, it's a little looser around my head and actually fits better. It doesn't do the big squeeze which I know makes me look like a dork in most hats.

 It has an interesting lace pattern with psso (pass slip stitch over).
I am definitely casting on another one of these...won't say for whom in case she reads this.

This was a huge skein of yarn (250 grams) and I know I can squeeze a pair of mittens from it as well. So off I go to find a pattern...the Helix scarf will have to wait a few more days before I get back to it.
Have a good weekend!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Our weekend

Our grand daughter O loves the alpacas. She talks about them all the time when she's at home and can't wait to come over on the weekend to visit. As soon as she enters the house, she runs to the windows facing the pastures to see them. She knows their names and is always willing to join us for a walk when it's feeding time.

O is wearing her new hat made with my handspun yarn. I'm really happy with this yarn and with the pattern.
Pattern: Bimple (from Wooly Wormhead)
Yarn: my handspun


Updated my Etsy shop to add a few combed tops. Sold a project bag and skein of yarn this weekend so a trip to the post office early tomorrow morning!
Hubby put the winter tires on my vehicule this weekend...just in case.

Friday, October 28, 2011

It`s in the air

This morning is one of those crisp bright sunny morning. I can feel W.I.N.T.E.R in the air!
Love it !

As I walk through the fields to get to the barn in the morning, the alpacas gather up and follow me knowing they are going to get their pellets and fresh hay.

Have a look at these two cuties. Aren't the babies growing? Coco is still the entertainer. And Fiona plays shy. They are doing a great job of growing that fiber for MOI!
They know the deal...I'll take care of them and in return they'll provide me with some soooft fiber...great arrangement.

Ginger gets up real close to check things out. After this shot, she raced to the barn to wait for me.
(I am due for a new difficult to take great pics with this old one...soon...Christmas is coming, right?)

Here's what's been keeping me busy.
A little bit of a learning curve again, but I think I've found a dyeing technique that works for now.
 I've decided I need to supply my own fiber for my spinning addiction, so I've ordered some bare fiber and proceeded to dye it on my own.
(Can't use my alpaca fiber just yet...need to get that to the mill soon!)

Since I've made lots, I will add some to my shop and see how that goes. I should have that done over the weekend.

On the knitting front, I'm working on a Helix scarf

and plan on casting on for a Whisper cardigan.

Have a great weekend and Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Look at what I got!

I love hand painted furniture. Most pieces of furniture in our home is painted. Most of them by me. I buy the pieces at garage sales, or at second hand store. Kijiji is also another good place to find great pieces of furniture. Some pieces were given to us. I usually paint them with latex paint and sometimes will add a coat of varnish. But I've been eyeing this product for quite some time now...
Annie Sloan Chalk paint!
I have plans for these three colours. As you can see, I have Duck Egg, Old White and Paris Grey. I ordered the clear wax and the dark one as well.
Only one place in Ontario carries this paint!
I hope it lives up to it's reputation, I'll keep you posted.

On the spinning front, I have been busy (what can I say!).
This first yarn, was my own hand dyed. It's chained plied and I love this mix of blue and green.

Colorway: Grateful dyed.
Superwash wool top. (4 oz)
From Wild Hare fiber studio

The colours are crazy! But I think it will be fun to knit something small like hat or mitts for our grand daughter.
So that I could keep the colours separate, I chain plied it. I mostly succeded, only a few sections have the colours mixed.

Colorway: Sugar Maple.

Blue-Faced Leicester Wool Top. (4 oz)
From Wild Hare fiber studio

Again, a three ply. I love these colours. I'm thinking of a cowl or a scarf for myself. Very very soft!
 It's appears brighter that what it really is. The colours are more muted than the picture shows.

Here is a 75% Blue-Faced Leicester and 25% Tussah silk.
Colorway: Vervaine
From: All For Love of Yarn Studio

(photo comes from All For Love of Yarn Etsy Shop)

All spun up and ready to ply. I plan on making a 2 ply with it. That's why I have it on two bobbins. Maybe tomorrow.

And last but not least.
Colorway: Peacock
Superwash Wool (4 oz)
From: Wild Hare Etsy fiber studio

Just finished this morning, a very full bobbin (I was not quite done when I took this pic).
I will do another three ply with it so I can keep the colours separate. You can't see the purple and aqua. I won't be able to chain ply this onto one of my bobbins because it's going to be way too full...I have to see how to go about this.
As you can see, I have been ignoring all cobweb and dust bunnies in the house. Making meals has also become secondary. If only spinning would count as a cardio workout. I could spin and be shape up at the same time!

Rainy weekend ahead, so a bit of cocooning is going to happen here. Hope you enjoy yours too!