Sunday, July 27, 2008

thought I'd put in a picture

from olympia (the new camera)

this is of the wool from the tour de fleece.... purty, no?

tour mosaic

or trying this

1. BFL finished by 7/23, 2. Finn and BFL, 3. BFL singles, 4. Ashland Bay, 5. Lincoln Longwool, 6. alpaca

end of the tour

and I finished another yards of brown BFL (plied, washed and drying) and some constrasting Finn for the trim, about 96 yard plied washed and drying (hope it's enough). I haven't uploaded any pics from the new camera but here's one from the old while the yarn is still on the skein winder.

Not too clear. The new camera takes great shots, I just need to make room for them on this computer!

I have a bobbin full of one ply and a bit more in a center pull ball as well as a bit more of the cappucino finn. We're off for a bit so I won't be spinning (unless I take along the drop spindle)

This was a fun 3 weeks of spinning. I'm sure DH will be happy to have his wife less obsessed with bike races and spinning wool. Although I've found the Missouri tour starts Sept 8 (after the olympics) but also after we've returned to school. We'll see just what can get done!

Friday, July 25, 2008

brown sheep, brown sheep

here's what I have spun of the BFL so far:

It's about 1200 yards. I still have a bit more to go. But DH chose a vest that he likes. I need to spin/ply up some contrasting yarn (about 150 yards)

We bought a new camera today, the Olympus E510. Just in time for vacation. DH has been playing with it since we've come home. He says it's for the family. He's the one that talked into a DSLR. I hope that I get to use it sometime. It could make fro great pictures on my blog.

I'm too tired to post more. I want to sleep.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

challenge of the alps

I spun an entire bobbin of BFL today! Frogged a sleeve and the back of that cashmere sweater to come up with something like 1200 yards of lace weight cashmere, add that to the other 450 yards from the first sleeve and I have half the front to do yet... mm mm mm!

I spun a little bit of alpaca as well and did some (not nearly enough) housecleaning on my computer.

Tomorrow is ply day (and a visit to the dentist)

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

where does the time go?

I realized that I didn't post pictures of the skeins I've made.
This is Finn that was navajo plied (my first) and then dyed with McCormick Food (black and neon blue) coloring and kool aid(tropical fruit punch mixed with lemonade - a little red goes a looooooooong way) Not exactly what I was going for but....I think it will become socks. Still have to measure the wpi on it and this next picture which is the BFL for DH's Christmas (crossing my fingers) vest. I ordered a book from amazon mentioned here but I'm still waiting on it. Anyway, these three skeins are a smidge over 450 yards. I have 2 more bobbins of single ply finished and I'm working on the third so I can triple ply more this week and hopefully finish before the Champs-Élysées. I'm so enjoying watchin the boys race. DH doesn't get my sudden interest in bicycling, but it's good company while I'm spinning in my own race!

We have a new bunny chomping on the clover in the yard. I wonder if it's a relative to the ones we had in the beginning of the summer and our wild 'pet' from last summer. This guy is definitely not used to us though. The one from last summer would stay in his/her spot no matter how close we got.

And I've finished another square of the Lizard Ridge. Color 147A

My ravelry dishcloth partner got her package today so I can post some pictures :-)

Pattern: wave pool by Carol Bristol
Yarn: Sugar 'n Cream Stripes
Color: Tie Dye Stripes
Needle: US6

The exchange is for a dishcloth and a ball of yarn and the theme was summer so this is what I sent. My partner seemed very happy with her package and for that I'm very glad.

Opening day for the other exchange I participated in is August 1, so those pictures will have to wait!

DH proved himself the repairman on Saturday. We bought a used radio/CD/tape player from a junkyard in TX for our van to replace the one that DS2 used as a piggybank and the man did all the work himself. I was impressed!

Sunday we had a family get together for all the July birthdays (there are 4 in the family) Food aplenty. The theme being the birthday peoples favorites. There was hamburgers (my brothers) twice baked potatoes(nephew) potato salad (DH) asparagus salad (DH) pea salad (SIL) deviled eggs (EVERYONE) fruit salad for the kids and my mom who shouldn't eat all the tempting desserts: Penn State Cheesecake (nephew), chocolate cake (DH), cherry cobbler (SIL) chocolate chip cookies (brother) not to mention ice cream and an ice cream cake that I don't think we got to! Good food... and we got to see the 5th Harry Potter movie (which we don't own) I'm getting hooked on Hogwarts!

DH was convinced that I was going to have to head out to get a copy of my birth certificate so that we can go Canuk for a bit. (our passports have expired) but I sent him back to the bank to check the safety deposit box again because he wasn't too convincing that it wasn't there (after I spent over an hour looking for it here at home) and sure enough, there it was with some other important papers like our marriage certificate... well at least we can go now without wasting a day to get the paperwork!

well I really should card some wool and finish Ghandi so I can send it back to Netflix. I sent for it and DH has no interest in seeing it (again)

Friday, July 18, 2008

stormy weather

yesterday, we had the greatest summer rainstorm! The sky was green-gray, the wind whipped, rain was torrential, hail fell, and the storm drain lids popped all down the street. It was like watching old faithful. Usually they build up pressure and pop and that's that. But yesterday, the one in front of our house popped and the water erupted about 2 feet in the air. For a while, the street was flooded as was the sidewalk. Naturally DD, who has been obsessed lately with weather (I mean really obsessed) was freaking out. The storm ripped the bark off the higher porportions of the sycamore trees that line the street. After the water subsided, we sat on the porch. The electricity was gone. The kids sang songs and read. I carded and spun. It was wonderful. DH brought dinner home from a local restaurant. The kids watched a movie on his laptop and I went on the porch and spun by candlelight. Loved it!

I'll post more later with some pictures of stuff

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I've finished another cloth tonight (well OK this morning) for an exchange that I elong to . I can't post the cloth yet, but I'll say it was my first time working with Sugar 'n Cream Stripes and I love how it turned out. This pattern really lends itself well to that yarn.

I also made a pair of stitch markers for a different exchange partner.

I have two packages that I should be mailing out soon liek Wednesday)

Tuesday I had a huge brain fart. I was supposed to be at a teacher in-service, that completely slipped my mind. The very strange part was that at the pool on Monday I mentioned to DH that I needed to check the calendar to see when the in-services were. I thought they were later in the month. oh well. Hope I can get in to a different one.

Today was a rest day for Tour de France and tour de fleece. I spun on my spindle finishing the merino/tencel roving from Ashland bay Lea had sent me. The winding on the niddy noddy has been an experience. It's still not all on... but I had no more patience. It's super thin and has driven me crazy!

I carded up some BFL rolags after weeding the entire side garden (a ginormous undertaking) during the heat of the day. I have a sunbrun to prove it!

I also made 2 pvc niddy noddys and cut the pipes for another with an interchangeable center post for diffferning lengths

I'm really tired.. sorry no pics now. Maybe tmrw (or should I say later today

I missed ten on tuesday oops!.

Monday, July 14, 2008


is the word for emergence. We were out getting passport pictures taken and the 4th butterfly emerged. Of 5 chrysalis that we've had (and butterflies) I've not seen one emerge.

Pattern: Love to Knit by Alice Imholte Monthly Dishcloth July 08 KAL
Yarn: Sugar 'n Cream
Color: Light Green
Needle: US6

I've a secret for this cloth but I can't reveal it for a bit.

Regarding the Tour, I have a bit over 500 yards of 3 ply BFL spun and waiting a wash.
I've started singles again. Tuesday is a rest day so I think I'll spend some time carding tomorrow so I can get ready for the next mountain. (I'll be spinning late tonight to make up for the minimal spinning that was done

I didn't spin much yet today. We all got passport pictures taken and we went to the pool this afternoon. It was practically empty and the water was beautiful. The breeze was chilly but we all had a great time!

go figure

my kids finally get to take swimming lessons tmrw and it's been raining all night long to beat the band. I hope it stops by morning so they can go. Boy that water will be a bit nippy though.

We have a third butterfly (well actually only one again, we let the other 2 go) We tried to coax this one out earlier on Sunday but (s)he didn't seem to want to leave, so I put in a wedge of watermelon to keep it satisfied. That painted lady sucked down on that watermelon for quite some time! One chrysalis to go. (they always emerge when I'm not looking)

I spent my spinning time today plying about 600 yards I think (only measure 365 yards, the rest is still on the bobbin) Tmrw I'll start spinning again. My spinning has certainly evened out since I started this fleece. I hope DH likes the yarn I'm making as it will be a vest for him. I ordered Simply Beautiful Sweaters for Men: Tricoter from amazon because the have LOTS of men's vests patterns in the book that I like and think DH will like as well. He doesn't like wool sweaters because he's so hot (yes, dear read the double entendre) but he loves vests.SO a vest it is. For me this yarn represents a pile of work. There's a lot of love in there. I'll wash it and whack it tmrw.

Once again I got to see the last couple of km of the tour today. Until the kids are asleep at night and I get down to the family room, it's always near the end of the race. Yesterday was the exception. I had to negotiate TV usage with my daughter. We watched the birthday cake bake off (which I must admit was amazing and then I got to watch the tour. It was the final 5 km... which was crazy exciting on Saturday!

I have one other FO but it needs blocking and frankly, I need some sleep. So I'll save that for another post.

happy Crafting

Saturday, July 12, 2008


2 emerged from their pupas. We decided to release those 2 today... I think one has a problem though. It's chrysalis had fallen to the bottom of the tent. Until I saw it emerged one of the back wings was folded over.. I think it dried that way... so we coaxed it out with a sugar stick and put it on the neighbors butterfly bush (it's still there). I hope it makes it. The first to emerge went to the bush, sucked up some nectar, flew around a bit and then took the waiting game for the other 2 to come out.

of course I was spinning yesterday... I spin and spin and it seems that I make no progress.

The sleeve of that cashmere sweater yielded 526 yards of 40 wpi yarn. I'm hoping to rescue the other yarn in decent shape... don't ask me to do what with... maybe socks, maybe ply with something else... hmmmmmmm.

After sorting all that Polly Pocket stuff, DD decided she wants to keep it...I was afraid of that.

oh well, I need some coffee......happy crafting!

Friday, July 11, 2008

recycled yarn

I've been recycling yarn lately. Remember the cashmere sweater I wrote about a few weeks ago? Well I took it apart but had some troubles unraveling, so I let it sit. In the mean time, I unraveled a 100% merino XL ladies long sleeve sweater that is 2 ply laceweight yarn. I've learned that I need to be really careful when undoing the seams. It's even harder to see the threads that you can cut on these fine weight yarn sweaters. Well this cake is from the 2 sleeves and the front of the sweater. I have another smaller cake from the sweater back. The ends are spit spliced so there'll be no knots in the skein. I'll wind it on my skein winder, wash it and probably overdye it.

I also frogged merino longies that I had made for DS2 quite some time ago from a JCrew merino sweater. I had frogged the rest of the sweater and have about 1000 yards from that. Now, there's an additional 400 yards (give or take) from the longies (both arms) so I'll add that to the other and have quite the mother lode of very soft 2 (very loosely) ply merino in hunter green.

So tonight, after spinning for the tour de fleece, I decided to try my hand at one of the sleeves of the cashmere sweater and lo and behold... it started to unravel :-)
It's super fine weight cashmere and the places that I've cut wrong I just spit splice and it turns out fine. I'm so psyched now. My first cashmere.

I've been spinning up a storm and DD has decided to get rid of her polly pockets, so we've been organizing to take photos of them to list on ebay. She should get a haul since the collection is immense. We counted 100 pairs of shoes (just shoes, not including the 20ish pairs of boots) I'm making her do most of the work, after all she'll get the cash, but a little supervision is always a good thing.

We went miniature golfing today with the kids. On the way home DS2 asked where are apo and aba? We told him that they went home yesterday. He wants them to come back. LOL Guess 6 weeks wasn't enough.

I've cast on for the 3rd time for the yoga bag... this time I used circulars with a bigger circumference AND a stitch marker forthe beginning of the round. The pattern is written for flat, but I'm knitting it in the round :-]

I also started Tina's cloth for the love2knit dishcloth exchange. I hope she'll like it. I think I found a perfect cloth for her!

OK... it's soon time to wake up and I've yet to go to bed. I heard someone stirring upstairs at about 4 AM... lately one of the 3 kids has been up at that time for the past week.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

ten on tuesday

in no particular order:
Hans Solo - Star Wars (obviously)
Indiana Jones from any of the Indiana Jones films (haven't seen the latest though)
Jack Ryan from Clear and Present Danger
Yesterday - from the African film of the same name
Erin Brokovich from the film of the same name
Guido Orafice from Life is Beautiful
Cole Sear from the Sixth Sense
Harry Potter from Harry Potter (did I need to mention that?)
Mr. Magorium from Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium
Wall-E from the film of the same name


You Are No Swimsuit

You are totally, completely comfortable with your body.

And you're not judgmental about other people's bodies either.

You are connected to nature. You feel best when you are outdoors.

You are a serene and peaceful person. You focus on what's truly important... not material possessions.

guess this does describe me... no suit but only for a moonlight swim!

forgot this

sand art that DD made at the DaVinci science center... I wanted to post it cuz I think it turned out cool looking. You put all the sand in a funnel which is inside a frame and hung from the 4 corners. You can move the funnel however you'd like and the sand comes out of the funnel to make a picture. Looks like a seashell to me!

Monday, July 07, 2008

la tour de France fleece

silly me... what do I know about bike riding, except that I used to do it all the time in my youth. Well I've actually spent quite a bit of time watching the tour while spinning myself... not on 2 wheels though only on one and only using 1 foot. And here's what I have to show for it so far:

2 bobbins(started the third) of single ply BFL. I admit to cheating a bit on this, as it had been started before the race, but it's mostly what I'll be spinning this month.

and 408 yard of navajo plied Finn. This was taking up a bobbin and seeing that I only had one bobbin, I decided to practice navajo plying. (took me forever to do all 400 yards) It's my first attempt at this type of ply so it's not too bad. I'll probably dye this and make socks for myself :-)

I did a bit of spindle spinning early (as in 2 AM) Monday to try to finish off the Licoln fleece that I have. There's only about a pound left and I'd like to get it all spun. Have no clue what it will become... and also return P's Ashford spindle. I prefer the top whorl to the bottom whorl, but want to finish all this yarn the same.

Monday, we went to the DaVinci Science Center DD has been bugging me to go for months. Finally I found a place where I wasn't the only dalfujensia in the family :-) (I'm not sure I spelled that correctly.. I'll ask DH in the morning). It's like a please touch museum of all things science. DS2 wasn't impressed but found some things that he was attracted to. I'm sure we'll be back to visit again, especially since it's only about 15 minutes from home! Afterwards we went to the nearby Perkins for a late lunch (we were all starving). As we were almost ready to leave an older woman came up to me to remark how beautiful our children were. And how patient we were as parents (you talkin' 'bout me?????) Actually the kids were having a good day. And were in a particulary snuggly mimos mood. Anyway, that really warmed the cockles of my heart, so thanks ma'am!

Guess I need to think of something for Tuesday! The in-laws leave for home Wednesday evening. I don't know if we're all going to the airport or just DH... probably the latter. It's such a long trip to drag the kids on, plus the van is still in the shop.

Speaking of..... the shop called today. Apparently it's all related to the alternator. When the alternator goes wacky, so does the computer and all the misbehavior is related. I had DH mention to the mechanic about DS2 thinking that the cassette player was piggybank last summer. (Oddly enough a woman called in to car talk about this very thing last week) Carlos, the mechanic, said "oh.... that's not good" meaning that it could also be related. So we may be shopping in the junk yards for a new radio/tape/CD component to install (click and clack's suggestion as well) Maybe it's unrelated, but for a while the radio would turn itself on and off depending on how the coins were in the tape deck. I retrieved quite a number of them, but some are impossible to reach and I'm sure have worked their way in even farther. He was an equal opportunity depositor... any denomination worked as long as it was a coin! Even pesos, bridge and chucky cheese tokens. That's my boy... an investor!

OK... now for some knitting news. I've started Lizard Ridge square 12 with my new LM needles. I think that they are cursed. I've had to rip back 3 times now and each time I was on the last wave repeat..... it's ok, I'm method with this one. no rush to finish!

But these are finished:

Pattern: Charade by Sandra Park
Yarn: ColorMe
Color: Regal
Needle: KnitPicks Harmony dpns US2 (3 mm)
For: ME!!

Love the stitch pattern. Wish that this yarn didn't flash but oh well.... this is a great stitch pattern for a guys sock as well and super easy to memorize. I'll probably make DH a pair in a solid (black, blue, brown, or tan... you know a boring color) But they will definitely be on my feet as soon as the weather cools a bit. (I wore them to spin last night hehehe) I'm really loving the sock thing right now. It's become my new obsession (pushed dishcloths right out of the running... but they'll be back) I have a few skeins of sock yarn to use... then I have an excuse to buy more :-D

In nature news, we have 4 painted lady chrysalis now. One fell off the little paper that it was suppose to attach to and is laying at the bottom of the butterfly garden. Hope that doesn't damage the metamorphosis process. I tried to take pictures but they don't do them justice. They're kind of a brown with these shiny gold dots on them. and only about an inch long, much smaller than the black swallowtail that we did last summer. I think about 10 days we'll have butterflies. I learned when we were at the butterfly house that black swallowtails will not voluntarily feed when in captivity. You need to uncurl the proboscis onto the nectar.... which explains why our guy was not interested at all in the watermelon pieces we gave him. Had I known... at any rate he was released in plently of time to eat and mate (which after all is what they're supposed to do) I'm excited for the kids to see the process again. DD will be studying about growth this year as one of the units of inquiry and they concentrate on butterflies.

Well I'm off to spin some more before retiring...

happy crafting

Saturday, July 05, 2008

what did you do on the 4th?

what a day.....we had plans to go to our friends' house for a picnic and then fireworks. The rain and our schedule of events cancelled out the fireworks.

We're driving along and all of a sudden the battery light goes on..... (mind you the check engine light has been on for about 5 1/2 weeks and nothing has been done about it) a few miles later the ABS light comes on and then the engine starts to rev. I suggested that we pull over... and turn off the car. So DH kindly followed my instructions. Then tried to start the car and it gave that rr, rr, rr sound of a dead battery. So call AAA (thankfully we have AAA+ which tows for 100 miles for free) and I start thinking who can pick the 7 of us up? My brother won my vote and as serendipity would have it (in a bad situation) his van was finished getting fixed, so he just had to pick it up and my nephew followed in his car. They let us have to van to use until ours gets fixed. Mind you, my brother lives 50 miles from me (albeit in the direction we were traveling) but still, he's an Eagle Scout through and through.
We unloaded the car with stuff that we'd need and all the people and parked in someone's front yard along the side of the country highway (a state route... that is fairly busy) and waited for the tow truck, which came pretty quickly once we figured out where we were. Oddly enough after the tow truck took away the car, the people in the house came out and looked a bit puzzled but were very kind in offering their facilities should we need them. My brother and nephew came and rescued us with their van and rabbit (be a better story if they rode in on a mustang, no?) and we continued on our merry way.
I'm curious to know what the problem is and if it's related to the check engine light.

Two of the caterpillars have pupated and one is in the J. The fourth looks about ready. I'd take pictures but the batteries in my camera died and my kids used the rest of the AA batteries in the house, so I'll have to go get more tmrw.

I started this cloth on the way down, finished it at our friend's house and left it for her. I found the idea on ravelry and think it's a brilliant way to use up those scraps of kitchen cotton.

Pattern: Lizard Ridge Dishcloth by Laura Aylor
Yarn: Lily's Sugar 'n Cream
Colors: Delft Blue, Red and White
Needle: US6
Made for: Gaby

There's one goof in it, but I left it go. All in all it's a great patriotic cloth and another wonderful use of the Lizard Ridge pattern. Thanks Laura! :-)

I still haven't finished sock #2. There is about 3 inches left to knit. I should get cracking. Tomorrow, OK technically today, starts the Tour de France and with it the Tour de Fleece... I'll spin up what I have in rolags and hope to card more as well.

And last but not least, some pictures from the Philly zoo yesterday. We bought the family deluxe membership so the kids got to go on all the stuff that was available and we'll have to go back again in the next year (I personally could go there every day!) We arrived around 11:30 and stayed until closing. Suffice it to say that there were 7 very tired people when we got home!

The tree house. This is a very cool large room where everything is oversized even for adults. You can climb up inside the tree and look out at the room. There are giant frogs kids can climb inside. A HUMUNGOUS beehive, gargantuan monarch caterpillars and butterflys, Some dinosaur replicas, a flower seat and more. The kids had a blast here.

There will be more pictures after I steal them from my FIL's camera ;-)

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Pattern: Amanda's Squatty Sidekick from Interweave Knits knitting daily
Yarn: Paton's Classic Wool Merino
Color: Chestnut Brown
Needle: US 10.5
Lining: purchase at Wilson's Calico booth at Kutztown Folk Festival
Button: gift from Argentina (ironically from my MIL)
Recipient: MIL

I just finished sewing the lining in. It's not perfect, but it can be a constant reminder to her that neither am I......

I wanted to do more, but I need to sleep.... I think it's the zoo tomorrow if the weather holds.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


comes with certain rights and priveleges. The most important being the right to vote.
DH became an American citizen today. The Philly convention center grand ballroom was packed with 1500 new citizens and all their guests. The color guard are volunteers that are all descendents of Gen. George Washington's original colorguard. I didn't think it would be a big deal, but there were moments that choked me up a bit. So now, I'm married to an American citizen. He did register to vote immediately after the ceremony. It took all of 3 minutes as they had many volunteers there registering the new citizens.

In other news, my brother turned 53 today. Happy Birthday E.... even though you tormented me all those years, I still love you!

I can now say that I have knit at the Philly convention center and the Market St. train station.. making that kip list longer every day LOL. This decoration was at the end of the food court in the train station. If this was the Mason Dixon blog, I'd put it under found objects, but it's not, so I just have it here. I also missed taking a great picture of a metal outline sculpture of Ben Franklin on a bridge crossing 676 heading out of town.. just not quick enough with this camera. I'm finishing up my second sock, working on a lizard ridge block and frogging the second leg of a pair of longies that is merino (the rest of the sweater has been frogged for quite some time and the wool is luciously soft!)

I need to sew the lining to MIL's purse. I was interrupted last night as I was readying the machine by a little boy with a nightmare.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

busy busy busy

I have stuff to post, just no time.

I've finished 1.5 socks of the Charade and fulled my MIL's squatty sidekick. She chose (and bought) fabric for the lining at the Kutztown Folk Festival at Wilson's calico booth. We went there Sunday as well as to the Crystal Cave. The fair was great. I could have spent more time there but the kids were worn out. The disappointing thing was the lack of knitting and fiber. There was only one booth which sold knitted items, some handspun yarn, square needles, and roving. Her fiber is gorgeous. She has goats, bunnys and sheep....nice lady. When I find the paper with her info, I'll add it to this post.We got there at about 10 and left at about 4. At Crystal Cave, I stayed in the car with DS2 who was taking a LONG nap. Everyone loved the cave.

Yesterday, we went to the Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary which is owned by my friend Mari Gruber. It was a great program and the kids loved it. In fact, DD asked me this morning when can we go back there? DH was chosen to be the human butterfly. I'll post pictures when I get them off the card of that. It was quite humorous!

Today we're off to Roadside America I haven't been there since I was about DS2s age...that's a long time ago and tomorrow DH swears in as an American citizen.

And I've been busy carding rolags to prepare for the Tour de Fleece on ravelry. I want to get as many ready for spinning as possible. Brown BFL for a vest for DH

I'll be adding to this post later, but for now I need to get ready for the trip!

happy crafting

ten on tuesday

10 sports you like to play/watch

  • swimming
  • tennis
  • gymnastics
  • diving
  • baseball
  • figure skating
  • ice dancing
  • ballroom dancing
  • ski jumping
  • dressage