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I'm never bored. If I'm not knitting or spinning, I'm gardening or reading. There's so much to learn and never enough time. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

So Sweet, Too Smart!

It doesn't seem possible but my husband and I saw it with our own eyes. I opened the wire fence that surrounds my little garden and found Mrs. Bunny digging her little warren. She had removed the grass from a circular spot where she planned to make her little nest. She looked up at me and held her ground with no plans to move. Knowing that she'd be having her babies soon, I gave up and sat down in a comfortable chair to knit. She had won. I wouldn't be putting down straw mulch today. As we watched her hopping around, it started to gently rain. Our little wild bunny hopped over to the gate, which I had hooked lightly, jumped up and pushed it open. She then hopped out of the open gate and left for the day. My husband remarked that he had recently hooked the gate closed at night and found it open in the morning. He thought I had been leaving the gate open. We don't feed or encourage any wild animals to make their homes here, and we actually clap our hands and encourage them to move along. I think it's time for a stronger latch.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Everybody Needs to Feel Special

My husband and I were invited to attend "Special Persons Breakfast" at one of my grandsons' pre-schools this morning. I've been thinking about feeling "special" lately, having read a few essays by women complaining about the hoopla surrounding Mother's Day and the negative emotions that that "holiday" evoked in them. One was a mother, the rest were not. I compared that in my mind to the woman I used to work with who said she and her husband thought Valentine's Day was ridiculous and refused to engage in the "artificial" displays required by that "Hallmark holiday". I get it. I really do. I've told my husband of 10 years that he does not have to shell out $75 in roses on one day in February to prove undying love for me. He can bring me a bunch from the grocery store and I'll be just as happy. This past Mother's Day, our son graduated from college. That was his special day. I got some very sweet cards from my husband and son and phone calls from my grown children. Hubs and I will visit my favorite nursery when time permits and buy an extra lovely basket to hang on the patio. I'm not neglected. I buy clothes more than I really need. I went on a retreat this month with one of my best friends and came home with lovely yarn to knit. I had a great time, enjoyed spiritual refreshment and good food that I didn't have to cook or clean up. I guess that this all means is that I feel filled-up. I don't long for attention or flattery because I have people around me who love and support me. If I had an empty place inside, I'd need a special day to make up for the rest of the year. I will never criticize a women who needs a special day like Mother's Day. Everybody needs to feel special.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Kind Yarn for a Sweet Bundle of Joy

I'm so sad to say I couldn't get to my great nephew's baby shower today. I've been down with a virus since before Easter. I made it through Easter Sunday and fell apart the next day with another sore throat, swollen glands and stuffy head. I've rested and guzzled lots of tea and vitamin C but still felt runny and stuffy today. I couldn't expose the rest of the family (or tire myself out) so I stayed home. I'll pack up my gifts for the wee one and mail them to my niece and nephew next week. In the meantime, let me tell you about O-Wool "Balance" the yarn I used to make a little sweater and hat.

I used a free pattern from Ravelry called "Little Coffee Bean" for the sweater and Susan B. Anderson's basic baby hat from her Itty Bitty Hats book. I used almost 3 skeins of O-Wool "Balance" in the Jade colorway.
O-Wool "Balance" is 50% organic wool and 50% organic cotton put up in 130 yard, 50 gram worsted weight skeins. "Balance" is also available in a chunky weight. The information card that was included in my shipment states the following:  O-Wool is sourced from organic merino sheep farms in South America where they are freely ranged and non-mulesed.  The organic cotton in the blend is grown in Texas.  If you want to know what non-mulesed means, please Google it. Now that I know about this common practice for sheep farming in Australia (which is where most of our Merino wool comes from) I will carefully consider who I purchase my knitting yarn from in the future.
O-Wool yarn is spun either in Massachusetts, Wisconsin or Maine and skeined and dyed in Maine or Philadelphia. It's processed with biodegradable soaps and combed to remove veg matter, rather than carbonized with an acid bath. It's dyed using low-impact acid dyes recommended by the Organic Trade Association. These dyes contain no heavy metals and use a minimum amount of water to ensure minimal environmental impact.
If you'd like to know more about O-Wool, please listen to the "Woolful" podcast, episode #13. The more I've learned about ethical wool, the more careful I'll be in the future about my yarn purchases. If you'd like to learn more about ethical wool farming, here's a link with the names of some supplies and farmers that you  may find interesting. https://exchangingfire.wordpress.com/2011/01/30/what-about-the-sheep-a-guide-to-ethical-yarns/  I'll get off my soap box now and go lay down.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Learning Something New

Still knitting and spinning but recently, I decided to try a new-to-me craft. I'm attending a rug-hooking class. I'm calling it an art because there is some creativity to it, even if you're hooking a piece designed by a professional. I'm learning to shade as I hook to create the look of dimension to one dimensional object. The design is called "Sue's Rose". I've taken some decorative painting classes so it's not entirely new to me. I'm looking forward to trying some designing of my own.

Also just finished a baby sweater for a little one due in May. It's 6 month size which should be fine for late summer and fall. I think I have enough for a little hat to match. Its in organic wool blended with organic cotton in Balance worsted by O-Wool. I found the owl buttons in JoAnn's. Everything's owls this year. So cute for little ones.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

14 Shades of Green

Christina, a lovely knitting designer who has a blog called "A Knitter's Life" recently posted a tutorial for making your own rolags for spinning. She purchased a group of merino wool roving samples from "Mohair and More". Christina chose to make her rolags in shades of red. After I watched Christina whip up a couple of rolags I ordered some merino in 14 Shades of Green. With a very small investment, I made enough rolags to keep me busy for days. I would guess my yarn is considered "woolen" spun since none of the fibers are going in the same direction until I twist them together. Whatever, it works and I'm having a great time spinning away!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Snow is a Four Letter Word so Knit, Knit, Knit

Today is more snow, snow, SNOW! Sorry, I don't usually use four letter words. I'm home working on the baby sweater. Trying not to drop the sweater in favor of some comfort spinning. I skeined up some Into the Whirled "As You Wish", a merino and silk blend braid of roving I bought at Rhinebeck in October. It ended up in my basket of homespun while I work on the rest of the braid. The basket is getting full as I've never knitted with my own yarn I think I'll save that for warmer weather and small projects.

I had my Ninja out for a lunchtime blueberry protein smoothie. I've had such a chocolate craving. Don't know what that's about but I decided to try to come up with a chocolate pudding using chia seeds, almond coconut milk and stevia. I'll post the recipe after I perfect it. I love my Ninja. It works so much better than my blender and it's smaller than a food processor and I can't recommend it highly enough.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Selfies over 60

Patti over at "Not Dead Yet Style" blog just posted a fun piece about selfies. She quoted Helen Walmsley-Johnson's article in the Guardian entitled, "Why Older Women Should Become the New Selfie Generation". The writer stated that 71% of women between the ages of 50 and 64 are "entirely happy with the way they look", a full 8% higher than the 18 to 34 group who are posting selfies all over the place. She says that "perhaps we should lead by example and show that growing older is a wonderful, liberating opportunity for re-invention, to let go of some things while embracing others."
My garden's covered with 6 inches of snow, my knitting's not very interesting and I'm not baking or cooking anything pretty or inspiring, so here we go. I started taking selfies 10 years ago. Before I started shoving the camera into my husband's hands while on vacation so I'd have some kind of proof that I was actually there. "Here, take my picture." resulted in self-conscious poses in hurried moments. "We're going out to dinner, I'm gussied up and the hair's not too frizzy, take my picture." There were, prior to this move, very few pictures of me from year to year. I don't think I'm much more or less vain than most women but frankly, I don't want to be surprised when I see a picture of myself. Even my mom looked at pictures of herself taken at my wedding 10 years ago and wanted to chuck them. I guess selfies are a way of evaluating the aging process. Like Mayor Koch, "How'm I doing?" I can't count on hubbie or the kids. They see me through lenses that reflect who I am to them. And that's the way it should be.