Saturday, May 31, 2008

On the 4th day, we relaxed

Thursday night, my neice and I attempted spinning with the drop spindle. We got everything from as thin as thread to as thick as a pencil! Not to sure if I'll continue with this or not as, frankly, I'd rather be riding or knitting!

Friday was spent just hanging out; all three of us were exhausted! Later in the afternoon, we drove out to where I board my riding horse and took my neice riding. I think she enjoyed it; we'll see how stiff she is today and if she feels that riding a horse was worth the stiffness! She was on her horse for an hour or more.

It's supposed to rain today, but right now all I see is blue sky and sunshine. Will probably stick in town and take in some local sights.

Not much more to report on our travels or my knitting and spinning.

Friday, May 30, 2008

The last of our road trips

Yesterday was the last of our day trips. As per Mapquest, we spent 10 hours 55 minutes in the car and logged 512.6 miles on my car!

Our last day we got a late start on our trip to Wisconsin Mom had packed a lunch so we stopped in Cornucopia to eat it. We all walked around on the sand beach after eating before continuing our trip.

We arrived in Bayfield, Wisconsin around 2:15 to learn that the Madeline Island Museum had closed 15 minutes before we arrived in Bayfield! We still took the ferry to the island and walked around. There was some work being done on the island that caused them to turn off the electriciy in areas. It was surprisingly hot on the island. A quick look around and we hopped back on the ferry to return to the mainland, back in the car, and off to Ashland to a yarn shop there to pick up some drop spindles and roving.

We all agreed our favorite spot was Split Rock. It's too bad as I'm sure our trip to Madeline Island could have been much greater had the museum not been closed; it was a let down. To do all the research I did, check to see they're open, their hours, entrance fees, etc., and to get there for nothing!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

God's Country

Have continued to enjoy the time with out of state relatives. This week, I've gotten to play tour guide, dragging my mom and niece to places I love in the Northern Minnesota area.

Tuesday we traveled north west and visited the Tower Soudan Under Ground Mine. It always amazes me being so far under ground; I can not even begin to imagine what it must have been like to work there. After our visit at the mine, we continued our drive further into the wilderness with a quick stop in Ely before returning home to Duluth.

Wednesday we drove north east with a drive up the North Shore. Our first stop was at a LBS (local bead store) for some beads. I wanted to find something to match my new top and settled upon some green chalk turquoise. While the clerk was helping another customer, I helped myself to her tools and made myself a pair of earrings!

We continued our trip up Scenic Hwy 61 with a stop at a Historical Landmark, another quick stop at Kendal's Fish Market for some Minnesota Wild Rice before arrival at a LYS I'd heard about. Playing With Yarn is a rather small shop with a ton of yarn, pattern books, and other fiber paraphernalia. I was on overload as there was just too much in such a small place!

After another stop for lunch, we arrived at our destination: Split Rock Lighthouse. The weather was great! After our tour around the lighthouse grounds, my niece and I took the long walk down to the shore; my mother chose to stay topside as the walk back up is killer! I love taking family to this lighthouse; it is so beautiful sitting on that cliff. We played a bit on the shoreline, building rock piles, taking pictures, splashing in the cold water before heading back up the hill.

Today, Thursday, is our trip to Wisconsin and the "south shore." We plan to take the ferry to Madeline Island, then stop off at another LYS in Ashland to purchase roving and a couple drop spindles.

Another nice day is in the forecast; maybe this weekend I'll be able to take them to some touristy places here in town!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Those Darn Frogs!

After a detailed look at the pictures, it was determined that the spinning wheel would take upwards of $200 to "fix" and then there still wouldn't be a guarantee it would spin correctly! I decided I'd save the money and put it towards a new model. I hope to pick up roving and a drop spindle this week and dabble with that.

The second sock has been quite a "problem child"! While giving my MIL her second lesson in knitting, I realized I'd dropped a stitch at about the time I divided for the heel. I had turned the heel and picked up stitches and was working on the gusset. I tried to drop a stitch on my needle and work down to it, but there had been too many changes in the knitting pattern so I had no choice but to frog 40 +/- rows!

Turning of the heel then caused me great difficulty for what ever reason; knit three frog two! Eventually, I got it done and am now have about 3 or 4 inches before I decrease for the toe.

With family here, I am not getting as much knitting done either, nor spending as much time listing completed projects for my etsy store.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Spinning Wheel

Am I nuts? Do I need yet ANOTHER hobby?

I came across this spinning wheel; have no clue if any parts are missing although, from all the diagrams I've looked at, it appears to have all the parts (there are other parts on other pictures).

It's cheaper then any of them I've seen go on eBay. I keep saying I don' t have the time; but since when has that stopped me!?

So - am I nuts!?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Can You Teach an Old Dog New Tricks?

I had hoped to make it to the LYS Saturday and meet local knitters I've met on Ravelry, but that didn't happen. My MIL had knee surgery last week and was moved to at a rehab center Friday night. I'd planned to go visit her after an hour or so at LYS knitting, but, oh well, the best laid plans! Prior to walking out the door, I phoned MIL to see if she needed me to bring anything, I was given a rather large and detailed list. I felt like I was an intruder as I went through her house, drawers, cupboards, and closets searching for items! Though she's always welcomed me into her home, I've never ventured into the private areas of her house!

There were a few items I could not find, even after going back several times looking in the same drawer (as if it would magically appear?), so I had to to the local discount store. While I was at the store, I figured I should get my weekend shopping done as I hate shopping at this store on a Saturday (too many people!) and the thought of two trips in one day there didn't sit well with me. It was well after noon when I walked out of the store, and one of the gals I was going to meet said she'd leave around 12:00, so I went directly to see my MIL!

A while ago, she'd mentioned she'd like to learn to knit; Thursday I dropped off a learn to knit book, needles, and a skein of yarn. Yesterday I gave her her first knitting lesson! I spent a good hour trying to teach her how to cast on before she finally "got it." I wanted to get her stitches cast on, and then teach her the knit stitch. She insisted she's not ready to do the knitting and is going to practice casting on until my next visit! No matter what I said, I could not get her to let me teach her the knit stitch. Even telling her how much trouble I had learning to cast on and how I used to have my girlfriend cast on for me wouldn't get her to move on! I'll phone her later today and find out if she's master casting on yet; she was doing very well when we put it down to take a coffee and cookie break! She'd attempted casting on by herself so we had to learn the correct way and unlearning wrong ways to learn it the right way takes so much time!

The little bird I spoke of earlier is a Blackburnian Warbler. A flighty little thing that would not allow me very close to himself or his girlfriend. I was creeping around the miniature horses' pen, hiding behind trees to get a shot from my camera. He sat for a bit on "they boys" feeder, I was able to get a few shots before he flitted off to another place trying to get away from that human hunting him down with a camera!

I have continued to work on my second sock. Nine more rows and I'll turn for the heel; this one is moving along much faster than my first sock! That first one, I could only knit for 5 or 10 minutes without my shoulder screaming in pain. I think I may be getting hooked on socks! It is nice to be able to start and finish a project in such a short amount of time.

I'm so glad my row counter has numbers. For the oddest reason, when moving it from one needle to the next, picking up the next number, I kept dropping it (never had this issue before, or maybe I just never noticed the problem?), it was nice to know which number I was on so all I had to do was pick up the row counter and place it back on the needle at the correct number few times I dropped it. I guess if I drop stitches, dropping row counters shouldn't have surprised me!

I see many socks in my future. I will attempt a pattern out of Cat's book, New Pathways for Sock Knitters Book One for my next pair of socks! There are some summer ankle socks I'd like to try also.

This is far more then I'd planned to type, sorry if I bored you!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Summer is just around the corner

Earlier in the week I spotted a bird I'd never seen. Was able to grab my camera but do not know if I got close enough to determine what it was. I'm thinking a warbler, but we'll see.
Was a beautiful day yesterday with a high in the mid 70's.
I am now working on the heel of the second sock; hope to go to the LYS and work on it with other knitters.
My MIL is in rehab from knee surgery and has always talked about learning to knit, so I gave her a little book, a pair of needles, and a skein of yarn. She seemed excited. I hope to drop in on her today after the stop at the LYS and see if I can help her get started. Casting one was the hardest for me to learn!
I guess today is short and sweet - another beautiful day outside. Getting a lot of my spring cleanning done. Have lists written, so will pick up various items in addition to stopping by the LYS and my MIL.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

One Sock, Two Sock

The rain started after lunch, had slowed some so that when I got home from work, I could do my "barn chores" without the rain, the rain started back up shortly after I went inside. So, what is a girl to do? I had thought of riding but just didn't want to deal with a muddy, wet horse. DH said he ate a late lunch (aka--I don't have to cook dinner), so I pulled out my knitting.

I cannot find a one-legged person to give my sock to, so I am forced to attempt another one to complete my pair!

What a difference the right equipment, knowledge, and experience make! While casting on, I used my new little copper and teal stitch markers every 10 stitches. What a breeze! Cast on 10, count last 10 stitches to check, place marker, repeat! I used to cast, count, cast more, count all, repeat! (I wasn't going to stop and take a picture! I just LOVE this style of markers!)

While doing the cuff, I used one of my row counters and that was far better then little slips of paper (since making and using them I really haven't done a lot of 'have to count' type knitting as it's been "repeat for 10 inches" type of patterns).

When I picked up and started working on the first sock last week, I found a slip of paper with little hash marks here and there - I really had no clue which marks went with the particular part of the sock I was working on!

Another difference between the first and second sock is that the first sock was started shortly after my accident and surgery. I was home, bored to tears! My arm was in a sling, and to knit, I'd have to "pack" my left arm with pillows (and ice) so it didn't move much. I could only knit for about 5 or 10 minutes at a time. When I say the first 10 rows (cuff) took me two days, it did, in 5 or 10 minutes slots of time! I hadn't done a lot purl stitches, to the K1, P1 was painfully slow without the issues with my arm!

Last night, after casting on and finishing the first row, I ran to my craft room and made a matching row counter. I was in such a hurry that the #7 is upside down when compared to the other numbers! Oh well, it's for me, I'll fix it when I'm not in a rush to knit!!!

While watching TV, I completed 23 rows as shown in the picture above. I just love the antique copper next to these beads as they have the same color of oxidized copper! I no longer have to count rows, but have decided I want to see how many rows are in that 7 inches I have to knit!

I got lucky as the first sock ended in the right spot to start the next sock; my pair of socks should even match!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Baby, it's cold outside

It is so cold outside, the calendar says May, but the weather is more like March!

I didn't get much knitting done Sunday with my trip to the barn, but I did manage to break a knitting needle. I guess it wasn't such a good idea to try on the sock I'm knitting! Ooops!

I spent the evening Monday knitting my sock and I'm the proud owner on ONE completed sock! I either need to get busy knitting the other, or find a one-footted friend! Other then the cuff, the heel, and the toe, socks really are rather simple...knit, knit, knit....oh, and knit!

Now the question is what next? Do I get that other sock done so I have a pair? Do I get my weekend Sweater done because it's so huge, and if we continue to have such a cold spring I'll be able to wear it before putting it away for the season? My "butter yellow ribbed-mock-t-neck", again, it's so cold that it may be a month before I can wear it? Or my scarf -- which I think I'll make and give away.

Last week I gave a gallon zip lock bag of miniature horse hair to a friend who weaves; she's going to see if it can be weaved. Wouldn't that be silly to have a pair of Sox-Socks?

Sox, one of my Miniature horses

A Healing Ride

Last November I had a terrible fall from my horse - it required surgery and some pretty intense rehab (and NO knitting).

I've ridden my horse, but we've stayed in the safety of the arena. I've been invited on a trail ride, but was having too much anxiety, so I hung back.

Yesterday I took a baby step! I decided I would need to take it slow and that my first ride outside of the arena would NOT be a trail ride. After riding her bareback in the arena, I put her saddle on and we ventured out around the grounds. We went maybe 200 or 300 feet and back, but I rode her in the big wide open! We even trotted!

So, my recovery continues to progress and I'm getting "my life" back!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

My mother and niece are coming from Alaska May 22, so we spent yesterday doing things that we want done before their arrival.

We moved the manure/compost pile to my various garden spots along the trails that go through our woods. The temperatures were decent; not so cold you had to have gloves and a hat on, but cool enough you weren't getting hot from the hard work. My shoulder is still not quite right, so I did more "supervising" then the heavy labor I normally do when we do this yearly chore.

I was able to come in the house while DS and DH were finishing up so I could "get dinner going." While they were taking showers, I went through my "knitting stuff" and determine what projects I need to get going on as well as see yarns I forgot I had! Joining Ravelry really has spured my knitting on.

After dinner, I was able to organize my projects and get some knitting done:

  • Two more inches on my sock before I get to decrease for the toe. I hope to complete the other one so that I have a pair, hopefully with less frogging, more knitting! For what ever reason, turning the heel caused me a great amount of difficulty!

  • I really need to finish my Mock T-neck as it IS a summer sweater. This poor little sweater has been my "go-to" project to work on when in between or bored with other projects. It's time to pull it to the front and "git r done"!

  • The weekend sweater (above) only needs a couple hours to finish. I may not be able to wear it until this fall (hopeful thinking!); I really should give it a final push and finish it. It is large, takes up a lot of room and it's still early enough in the spring to be able to wear it (after all, I did wear the first one I made yesterday when DH and I ran a few errands in the morning).

  • My little "Summer Scarf" will just have to wait. I love the yarn, the stitch is going well, but I'm not sure if it will be wide enough.

This morning, I awoke to a beautiful plant on our diningroom table from DS - a beatiful hanging plant, pictured above.

I also took pictures of my projects in process -- right now they are all for me! I'll have to see if I can find pictures of my finished projects that have been completed for others, but I think I knit and give away, I may only have one or two pictures to post on Ravelry.

Today the plans are DS and DH will leave me alone to do what ever it is I want (go ride my horse). I should pick one project and complete it....maybe today I should complete that Weekend Sweater and be done with it!

Hope all the Mom's have a day that is for THEM!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

May 10, 1994

Here I go, attempting to keep up with the online-Jone's and have a blog. I have found it rather interesting reading other people's blogs as they share the day-to-day events of their lives. Kind of like Seinfeld; Nothing too special, just life!

Spring is attempting to take it's hold in the Northland. I'm tempting fate - this week I unplugged the miniature horse's heated water bucket and put out the summer trough. I recall last year doing this too soon and ended up trying to pop a 30 gallon ice cube out of the water trough!

Last fall we had the back yard leveled and tossed grass seed -- the birds seem to be enjoying eating it, so I wonder how long it will take us to get that grass going with the birds eating the seeds. It is wonderful to be outside and hear all the bird calls; now if they'd just eat the sunflower we have out and leave the grass seed alone!!!

The deer have gotten braver and have been eating the tulips growing up near the house (the pictures above is of two of them last December - I enjoyed them then, when my garden was protected under snow!). I ran some electric fencing around my back flower bed and have had one visitor try to eat the tulips in that bed. One morning, the electric fence was down, with insulators all over the yard. I'd like to run electric fence around the flower beds up near the house, but DH doesn't want the ugly yellow fence in the front yard!

I have several stitch markers I need to list in my Etsy store, some orders to mail out. I need to finish at least one knit project before too long into the summer: a buttery-yellow short-sleeved mocked turtle neck. I should log off and work on them.