Thursday, October 11, 2007

No Sheep In This Barn

That’s right, There are no sheep in this barn. That’s because the people live in the barn.

The barn is on 12 acre farm in eastern Tennessee. It lays within the boundaries of the Cherokee National Forest. There is not much there except for a few other homes. Lots of chickens roaming the neighborhood, Some mountain people who are very attached to their ATV’s and this barn converted into a home.

The last 6 months have been spent in a constant state of movement. Moving from one house to another. Moving belongings from one storage unit to another. Moving people. Picking up leftovers. No rest for the wicked. No rest for the righteous either. No time to write. No time to take photos. No time to keep up with anything except a constant flow of boxes, homes, showings, cleaning carpets, cobbled-together meals with no dishes to serve the food on, and lots and lots of driving.

I stepped away from keeping up with events in order to just keep track of what passed before me each and every day. It seemed the list would never end.

Now I find myself in a state of temporary limbo. The children and the parents are already at the barn. I am staying in a borrowed home with my husband just waiting for march to come around in order to fully vest in my 401k.

There is now a light at the end of the tunnel though.

Two of those acres now belong to us. The rest of the pasture is available for our use. There is a fiber arts program at the local university that I intend to be enrolling in come the fall. Image that, a degree in string. I'm so there.

This means (yet another) return to blogging.

The posts will still be sporadic as I can really only post when I have Internet access. The places we are living in temporarily do not have phone or Internet access. Whenever I can get to the library or visit the barn, I'll post whatever I can and I'll save the blog entries as I go along.

I hope you will all bear with me as I come back to keeping track of life in general now that I have some time to breathe.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Yarn Pr0n Friday The Twelfth

Handspun! Navajo ply! Merino-silk! Fleece Artist! YAY!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

WIP updates

The Moderne Log cabin blanket for the impending work baby is out. I read some interesting info about corn fiber and it's relatively low melting point and became somewhat concerned. I'm not sure how that reflects on fire retardancy, but I'm not all that familiar with the fiber, and unknowns aren't such a good thing in this area of safety.Honestly. I'm not THAT worried about the baby spontaneously combusting causing her blanket to melt to her skin like baby shrink wrap. I just feel that with kids, especially other people's kids, it's better to be safe than sorry. My own kids? If their handknits melt to them permanently disfiguring them for life, they should just be damn grateful that mom knit them something.

Instead, I chose something soft and sweet in a fiber I know and trust. Enter the Infant's Fancy Silk Sock from Vintage Knits. I'm knitting them in Dale Baby Ull. I swear those needles get smaller every time I knit a round. next time I say I'm going to knit something on needles with more than a single zero anywhere in the needle size, someone smack me. They are lovely and delicate though.

Obviously the Wool Peddler shawl is complete, it is also fraught with errors and issues. I rushed the thing to be done for the retirement party then prayed hard that there would be no knitters in attendance. I was lucky in that there weren't. Or if there were, they had the decency to keep their traps shut. I also cut off one pattern repeat. I still have a few extra balls of the yarn. I'm thinking it may need to be frogged back to the beginning of the lace and reknit correctly if I am ever to be truly satisfied with it. Until such time, I will snuggle it regularly.

Onto the sweater for dad. My father is from Scottish stock. My father and uncle have traced their lineage as completely as they can. They are so proud. Dad even got a kilt in his clan's tartan. It's remarkably fun to tease him about his legs in his skirt, but really, I like that he's man enough to pull of the kilt.

Anyways, when I first took up knitting, I gave him a gift certificate for an aran sweater or a pair of kilt hose. He chose the sweater, and I've been mulling it over ever since. It's been about 15 months and after various false starts with swatching, finding the right yarn, and toying fruitlessly with a plan for designing it myself, it got back burnered. He has harassed me about it at every mention of yarn since the yarn was purchased. I can't make a single stitch on any other project around him without him mentioning how nice it would be to have a handknit aran. However, in a recent Knittyboard swap I got a couple back issues of IK. In the Fall 2003 issue, I found it. The perfect sweater. Everything dad asked for. Cable-y, turtlenecked, beautiful and comfy. The Byzantine Bazic is lovely. Unfortunately, I've only been able to work on it for two evenings thus far. The chart is uber tiny and my scanner is in the pooper right now. I've been waiting for my parents to leave town to get the chart properly scanned and enlarged. They leave tomorrow. So far, progress is slow, but at least it has been started.

Mom is trying to get me to have it done by fathers day. I can't possibly imagine what he would do with a turtleneck wool sweater in June, but maybe I will have it done by then, and he will shut the hell up about it finally. or he'll start bugging me for the kilt hose.

In the meantime something interesting has magically appeared on a set of my knitting needles. I picked up a copy of the new Favorite Socks book and next time I looked some long stashed Cascade Fixation jumped on the needles and began shaping themselves into the Flame Wave socks. I had nothing to do with this phenomenon whatsoever. (Okay, maybe I did, but it was merely a diversionary tactic to keep me amused until I could get the sweater chart resized.)

Just a tip for anyone who decides to make these in the larger size. The pattern calls for you to use a set of 4 dpns. The pattern fits perfectly with a set of five (the smaller size divides perfectly onto 4 needles). You get 2 pattern repeats on each needle instead of trying to move stitches back and forth on needles for your decreases. Why a clever knitter like Ann Budd couldn't have mentioned that for a brain dead knitter like me who didn't figure out how to divide 56 by 7 until halfway through the first pattern repeat is beyond me. Other than that, the pattern is easy, subtle and quite lovely. I'm totally digging this non-lacy pattern too. It's made me resolve to dig through the stitch dictionaries for similar yarnoverless patterns to make subtly patterned solid fabrics.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Yarn Pr0n Friday the Eleventh (With bonus window and Kitty pr0n!)

Imagine if you will, a knitter who has recently offered (near) full disclosure on her blog regarding precisely how much yarn she owns in vivid and gory detail. Now imagine what happens next to that knitter.

Well? What did you come up with?

Naturally. She buys more yarn. Of course she couldn't help it, it was such an INCREDIBLE sale that she had to. Let's see what she picked:

It appears to Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk. She seems to have purchased some Green and Black to go with the pile of Purple she bought at a previous incredible sale which was certainly not enough to knit a lovely sweater to be worn bra-less when no one is home to take full advantage of the softness of this yarn. The knitter had tried to buy more matching yarn, but apparently the dyelots of this yarn are so vastly different, that she instead chose stripes. Luscious soft stripes of silky alpaca.

Something tells the knitter this should be knitted into something classic and, well, Debbie Bliss-ish, but she is seeing stripey raglan wear-with-the-beat-up-jeans comfort.

The knitter in question prefers to remain anonymous. Thank you for honoring her polite request.

You'll also be happy to know that the window install went on as scheduled. The weather was somewhat cooperative, and although it was a yucky overcast day, it did not flood as the meteorologist predicted. They are all filthy liars anyway. I don't know why I keep listening.

Luckily for my neighbors, this meant only one day of seeing my lunar behind out the window. They can thank Knittingnutter for the encouragement. The sounds of shock and horror from the rude neighbors who party too much were well worth the exposure on my part. They'll be too dazed for weeks to get loaded and ride up and down the street in a golf cart. I expect a thank you card from them for putting the blinds back up any minute now.

The windows are so wonderful. They are the super fancy kind that open to the inside so you can wash the insides, the screens move up and down to take advantage of both upper and lower windows. The best part is, the first time I looked out my windows I realized that the window installers also installed front and back yards around my house, and a whole neighborhood beyond that! My family claims that the yards and neighbors have always been there, and the windows are just clean. I don't believe a word of it. They are filthy liars just like the meteorologists.

Just for kicks, I decided to do the knit blog thing and toss up a picture of the worlds most anti-social cat. She hates people at large so much, that most people don't believe I have a cat until I show them the litter box. Sure, she'll come hog my side of the bed all night, but that is about the only time you'll ever see her if you are not me, hubby, or anyone who plays an integral part of her feeding. She also, apparently hates cameras. Of the 30 or so shots I got of her, this is the least craptastic.

Kitty is not amused in the slightest.

Coming soon, progress photos of the long awaited Sweater For Dad That I've Been Promising Him Since I Learned To Knit.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Gods are mocking me

The windows in my house are supposed to be replaced tomorrow for an impending sale now that the old flks are retiring. I spent the evening removing blinds and moving furniture.

Naturally, we are supposed to get thunderstorms all day tomorrow.

This means the window replacement will be rescheduled for who knows when.

The obvious question:

Start changing in the bathroom, or expose my entire neighborhood to the horror that is my incredibly pale and voluminous behind???

Sidenote: After taking stash pics for the FYS, I found more yarn. About 16 skeins more. I may need help.

Saturday, March 31, 2007


All Handspun:

Random stash that hasn't made it into any semblance of organization yet. It lives in a big quilt bag.

Lotsa Sockotta

Cones and oddballs


Mmm Wool

The pitiful little sock yarn stash


Cottons and summer yarns

Mohairs and silks

I'm a bit embarrassed to admit this next bit, but this is about full disclosure, right? The novelty yarn stash....

Aaaaaaaand I'm Spent.

Friday, March 30, 2007



In other news. My father retired yesterday after 33 years of slogging away on work for the federal government. He was given a huge retirement lunch at Legal Seafoods in Crystal City (Holy freaking yum. And I hate Seafood). My mother and I went with him. I got to visit with my fathers buddy Mike of whom I am very fond.

Dad was given a STACK of awards. Seriously, it took my parents, Mike and I to carry of the awards to the car. My mom was presented with a bouquet of the most gorgeous jungle roses. Dad seemed so overwhelmed the whole time. Retirement is such a huge thing. Just think about it, never working again. Dad summed it up simply.

"I fooled them long enough that they will now continue to pay me for the rest of my life."

Congratulations Dad. I love you!

Yes my knitterly friends, that is the (barely finished in time) Wool Peddler shawl wrapped around me. And yes, that is my Mother's Kiri shawl.