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Minnesota, United States

26.9.10

Autumn projects

The weather has been just gorgeous the past couple of days. The cupboards throughout the house are done and the new handles in the family room and kitchen/dining room are perfect.  They are rustic iron and have a bit of red in them.  Now we just need to decide on flooring and of course I'll have to paint!
Last week at Stitch & Pitch I started a short cardigan and it's progressing nicely.  I love the yarn and will have to find one or two great buttons for the finishing touch.
Today I stopped by the grocery store after church and picked up a couple of pie pumpkins.  They are so perfect and I'm always a bit sad to cut them up, but there is something about using fresh pumpkin for baking.  Mmmm...I love this time of year!
The ceramic apple is the cookie jar that sat in the corner of my Mom's kitchen.  I loved to open the lid and the inside is a sunny yellow.  I haven't used it for cookies, but I enjoy having it in the kitchen.  The plaid lunchbox was my sister's and then I used it.  The thermos is long gone but it's another item that brings back many memories.  We lived very close to the school and could walk home for lunch.  It was always special to be able to use it.  Mom would wrap the sandwich in wax paper and then I can remember either a banana or apple for dessert.  

21.9.10

Play ball!

I had such a fun birthday weekend.  Jim and I went out for pizza on Friday evening, Saturday we hung out, and then yesterday I joined the shop for our trip (via train) to the new Twins stadium (nee Target Stadium) for Stitch & Pitch.  Nothing like watching baseball outdoors on a gorgeous day.  The Twins lost, but still have a great record and our seats were awesome!  It got a bit chilly when the sun went behind the seats, but I had on my little cap.  some gals brought their large projects to sit on their laps.  Knit one, keep warm too!  Jim had ribs ready for supper when I got home and after that we had the wonderful chocolate drizzle cake from Byerly's bakery.  Om-nom-nom!
The Argyle Pillow is finished.  The I-cord is the final touch.  I started over a few times, as I didn't like the way it looked.  I ended up picking working three stitches and skipping the fourth and the cord lays nice and flat.  The pillow is on the class schedule.  You can check it out here along with three other classes!  I mentioned the hat I made...well, I had in mind what I wanted and it turned out so cute.  I was in a bit of a rush to finish, so  I didn't take notes.  I have to re-engineer it and will have a pattern ready this week.
I'm watching a squirrel bury an acorn.  My goodness, it's like watching a human.  It dug the hole, pushed the acorn in, covered it with dirt, and then tamped down the dirt with both hands--really pushing it hard.  So funny to watch!  The little buggers drive me nuts, but they're fun to watch.

15.9.10

Finishing touches


I've been working hard on the shop samples making changes to the ornament pattern.  Joanne proofed my pattern and had suggestions, which I appreciate so much.  I like the hangers better and the focus is on the patterning across the center.  The Argyle Pillow (at least the front) is finished and I'm now zipping through the back.  I hope to have most of it done before knit night tomorrow.  
We're having quite the rainstorm tonight.  I like hearing the rain and I'm in a comfy chair by the door watching the weather listening to "Soundscapes" music.  Very cozy!
I hit it big via the postal service and Fed Ex the past two days.  Big Agnes now has her new poles and they were under warranty!  I also got the re-published Aran Knitting, by Alice Starmore.  Folks on Ravelry said there was only one new sweater, but I noticed a few new things.  Anyway, I'm happy to have the book and can't wait to break out the tweed that's been ripening in the stash!  

13.9.10

September

September is one of my favorite months.  Besides being my birth month, it's time for the yellow busses to transport students to and from school, football games on chilly Friday nights, leaves beginning to change, and sweaters!  
I spent Saturday through Monday in bed with a horrible cold (I guess it was a cold).  We went to Surdyk's and got some cheese and some chocolate, stopped at REI, and then came home.  It was a gorgeous day.  By the time we got home I could feel something "cooking" in my throat and my nose.  I was miserable and slept the rest of the day and most of Sunday, Monday I felt much better--not having the headache was a huge deal.
Last night I finally attended knit night at Shepherd's Choice.  It was so much fun and Jenny Wilder came in for knitting help.  She's recently published an almanac and we had her sign our copies. 
I cannot wait to begin classes.  It's been way too long without working.  I'm making progress on my class write-ups and have to finish up the samples.  The intarsia pillow is progressing, but I may frog back and switch to a smaller needle.  The Spud & Chloe yarn is lovely, but any kind of cotton is unforgiving and I'm sure the color sections will be neater if I can keep those stitches tighter.  Next up will be more ornament samples.  I have the polymer clay and felted ones, but I want to make a variety of knitted ones and perfect that pattern.  I'd like for my students to complete at least one during the session.  There is a cabled hat and Fair Isle bag for me to make and I can stash dive for the bag.  Busy needles over the next week or so!  Once I get into the flow of the shop hours, it'll be nice.  The only ornament in the photo I like is the red one.  I'm going to use yarn for the hanger instead of the twisted cord made with embroidery floss. Also, the button will come off.  I want the project to be easier to complete in a couple of hours.  Buttons, beads, etc. and fiddly and okay for when more time is available.  The white one is nice, but the gauge needed to be tighter.  The green one had too many rows of Fair Isle pattern, and lost it's nice shape.  It's a good thing I'm testing out different patterns!  

3.9.10

The times they are a changin'

23.08.10  Trite, I know, but true.  Just like the weather and the seasons, the only thing constant is change.  The change for me is a new opportunity, or rather the revival of an old one!
As of today, I am no longer an employee of the shop.  Nothing bad, just a change for them and for me.  I took the time during the summer to spin and think, spin, knit, and think some more--leading me to the conclusion that I need to re-visit what I started in Texas.  I accomplished so much artistically in the three years we lived there.
I'll be teaching at a shop called Shepherd's Choice and it's in a great town by the Mississippi River.  I've known the owner for some time and she's quite the fiber artist.  I'm going to focus on advanced knitting, felting, and hopefully drop spindling and art yarn.  My brain's been busy with ideas swimming around and I'm excited about the possibilities!  Now I just need to see if others are inspired my enthusiasm to push themselves creatively!
I bought yarn for an intarsia project from the current issue of Interweave Knits.  I'm not doing a sweater initially.  That is difficult for me, as I LOVE sweaters!  The Spud & Chloe yarn is gorgeous--the colors are lush, it's soft, and it's superwash.
02.09.10  Ben is settled back at college.  I'm glad we were able to get him there early because today it's storming.  He has the room to himself for a few days, so he can get all set up before his roommate comes back.  The guys were headed to town for $5 all-you-can-eat pizza last night.
03.09.10  It's a glorious day in my world.  windy and cool.  It's cloudy, but that's fine.  Sweater weather today!  I have the door open and the wind sounds wonderful.  My sister and I always loved the sound of the wind on Pop's farm.  It blocks out the traffic noise today.  Nice!
I finished the hat and re-named it.  It was a bit too large for me (I knitted to gauge and followed the measurements in the pattern), so I put a toe into the frog pond and started the decreases after the last purl row.  Now it's just right.  I liked the tab facing the back, and layered a couple of buttons from my stash for the finishing touch!  The color and fuzziness remind me of an edelweiss flower.