Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My muskoka chair

In our area, a very casual, comfortable outdoor wooden chair is known as the muskoka chair. It has wide armrests to place your cup of coffee (or better yet, a cold glass of beer). Low to the ground with a reclining back, you cannot help but to relax when you sit in it. I know that it's also known as the Adirondack chair in New York state. Whatever the name, it's the best way to enjoy the summer!
Muskoka is a very well known cottage-country area in northern Ontario, just two hours north of Toronto. Ordinary people, like you and me, have had family cottages for many generations on the 1600 lakes in the area. It's also well known that Shania Twain, Cindy Crawford and Goldie Hawn (to name a few) also have cottages in the Muskokas.

This chair is perfect for knitting and I've been knitting like crazy. Once again, the socks were put aside for something colourful, in my favorite and blue

I could not knit fast enough to get to the striped portion of this project.

And there's a picot edge on one side.

The shawl is Cameo by Paulina Popiolek. Even though I intended on joining the knitting frenzy and casting on for my own Color Affection shawl, I just could not decide on three colours to do it. But it was so easy to choose two colours to make the Cameo!
The yarn is my own hand dyed superwash merino/nylon blend.

And this is why I love blue and green so's all around me!
What is your favorite colour combo?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Early morning birth

The window in our bedroom is low enough that we can see out to the pastures when lying in bed. I love looking outside as I wake up. Doesn't matter what season it is, the scenery is always beautiful.  This morning, I got up at about 6am and I could see one white alpaca was out of the barn. She was by herself. 
We realized that it was Alicia and that she was giving birth. About 10 minutes later, a white cria was on the ground.
We felt very lucky to witness this. What a great way to start your day!

We watched from the window as this newborn struggled to get up on his feet.
The herd quickly gathered to congratulate the mom and admire the little one.

Fernando came over to get a closer look and greet his new playmate.
A little white male, 17.4 lbs. 
I love the little pink nose.
He must take after his mom, I find Alicia very pretty.
We have not yet come up with a name for him.
(little dance of joy for more white fleece for me.)

On to a knitting update...
I went to my LYS the other day and had a look around...should have known this would be too tempting. But the damage is not too bad!
When I saw the colour combination of this skein, I knew I had to have it!
I certainly don't need more sock yarn but I just could not resist it.

Fleece Artist from Nova Scotia have the most beautiful colourways! 

Now I can't wait to complete the pair of super plain socks I'm currently working on...almost there.
I'll tell you all about this new short row heel I found on YouTube when I'm done knitting them.

Till then, stay cool. Certain parts of Ontario are being hit by a heat wave.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award Nomination!

Nominated by Puddlepuck Grange, thanks so much Debi!!

In turn, I nominate the following bloggers:

Rules to follow if you wish to participate:
Nominate 15 fellow bloggers. (I came a bit short of that number!)
Let them know that you nominated then.
Share 7 random facts about yourself.
Thank the blogger that has nominated you.
And finally....Add The Versatile Blogger Award picture to your blog post!
7 random facts about me....
  • I still love peanut butter and jam on my toast.
  • I collect pottery, especially the kind made by local artists.
  • I love yoga, actually I crave it like a drug but I've been putting it off lately and my mind and body are paying the price for my laziness.
  • I now have 11 alpacas with one more baby on the way.
  • I spoke very little english when I met my hubby at 17.
  • I don't like chocolate.
  • I love cotton candy.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The power of music

Do certain songs just make you jump up and dance no matter where you are or what you're doing?
Other songs just bring tears to your eyes, no  matter how many times you hear them? And some just make your soul sing. Music does move us, influence our mood and create energy. There is even evidence that music can heal.
What are your favorite songs? Here are a few of my favorites...
My favorite-touch-my-soul song:
Je l'aime à mourir by Shakira (This song is a Francis Cabrel song and was one of my favorite when my children were's about how strong our love for our children is. This is Shakira's live in Paris version in spanish/french)

My dance-in-the-kitchen-and-hope-no-one-sees-me-song:
It's raining men by the Weather Girls (This song from the 80's just never gets old in my book!)

My sing-out-loud-and-pray-no-one-hears-me song:
I will always love you by Whitney Houston (My little sister and I used to sing this song together and make everyone leave the room!!)

My make-me-slow-down-and breathe song:
Allegria by Enya (This Crique du Soleil song is one of my favorite)

I listen to my favorite radio station right here on the web every single day.
Rouge FM will play both french and english soft-rock songs which is just perfect for this household.
If you want to listen to it for a bit just click on the Écoutez en direct red dot on the right hand side...Enjoy and dance like no one is watching!

Now how about moving those hips and shuffling your feet around the kitchen with Santana?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

R & R

My mother was in need of some rest and relaxation.
There is nothing like animals to make you forget your troubles.

She met Fernando. We had just weighed him...he's now over 17 lbs.

And then, she was eager to meet the cria that shares her birthday.
Carmella is not venturing too far from her mom yet.

Some extra pellets to eat always make the alpacas happy.

There was enough to share.

I've added a few more merino tops to my Zenitude shop.

On the knitting front, I've put my socks aside...I don't like how the heel turned out and I'm afraid I'll have to undo it. So it's in the bottom of my project bag till I get the energy to do it.
Hope you had a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, June 9, 2012


A beautiful solid brown or black cria born to Cassa Blanca (white mom on the left).
Born on June mother's birthday!
Carmella weighs a whooping 20 lbs 3 ounces!

My mother's name is Carmen, so I wanted to name this little one with something Carmella was the perfect choice.
Hubby will be so surprised when he comes home from his fishing trip!!!
Fernando is quite happy to follow her everywhere...finally someone to play with!
Fernando is  now 2 weeks old. Story of his birth here.

Now that I own a spinning wheel, I've decided to join a team on the Tour de Fleece on Ravelry this year. This coincides with the Tour de France, between June 30th and July 22nd. When they cycle, we spin.
I hope this will help getting my spinning mojo back. I've been ignoring my wheel for a few weeks now.
From hand dyed Romney fleece... I watched Carmella by the window last night, I hand carded rolags...

 Rolags and batts are ready to be spun.
Have a great saturday!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Busy days

Hubby is gone on a fishing trip off in Western Ontario.
He was really looking forward to this getaway.
So my days are full of chores and evenings go by quickly with carding, spinning and knitting to keep my busy. I will pretend for a few more days that all those baseboards that need painting don't mind waiting!
The posts for the new pasture hubby is working on are almost all in. Then we'll invite the crew (friends and relatives) to come and help with putting up the fencing.

This new pasture will give us the chance to rotate the alpacas and give the presently occupied pasture time to regenerate itself.

Alpacas know how to live in the moment.
When the sun shines on them, they can be seen lying down on their side to just soak it up.
(Boy, I wish I could do the same...but I must say that seeing them this way makes me realize it's ok to slow down and let the sunshine in once in a while...know what I mean?)
You can see Cassa Blanca's huge belly. She's the girl on the left. I could see her cria move the other day as I watched her from the deck.

Even Fernando decided to take a little nap under this warm sun! His mom Jessie is the white alpaca with the small brown patch on her back.
Ginger is a 2 yr old girl and she is very interested in Fernando. I wonder if she's happy to have another alpaca the same colour as her??

Speaking of the little one...

Isn't he sweet? I love his patches over the eyes.  His little ears are both straight now.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Where's the sun!

Another rainy day in northern Ontario!
I know we needed it badly and that the fields are much greener but I would love a sunny break now and then. A few more days of rain are in the forecast.
Sock knitting is progressing well. I love how this yarn is knitting up. Lot's of different colours that show up well with stockinette knitting.

Sometimes plain socks are just right. These have a pattern on the leg only.  Knitting them two at a time from the toe up. This way, I'll be able to knit till I feel they are long enough or till I run out of yarn.

What happens when you put an Oreo cookie in the bottom of a lined cupcake tin...

...then cover it with chocolate cake batter...

... and bake it?
A little bit of sunshine happens!

Recipe can be found here.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Over and over

I've been dyeing these past few days and all I can come up with is more of the same.
I've decided to just play with the same colours and see what I can come up with.

It is so amazing to see what can happen when you combine the same colours over and over. 
All you have to do is combine them in different sequence or in different strength.
It all started with the Romney fleece I dyed.

Blue and yellow dye gave me all kind of blues, greens and yellows.
With my limited experience with carding wool, I hope to keep the colours separate so that the three colours show up in the spun yarn.

Then on to merino rovings and the same two colours.
(It's a very rainy and cold day here today and picture taking is not giving me the best pics.)

Tomorrow, I'm playing with red and yellow.

And, I've casted on for a pair of socks!