31 March 2009

March Charity Knitting

A snap of my March charity knitting. I've completed one baby hat and 5 afghan squares. Once all those annoying ends are sewn in, they'll be going to their new home in Durham and then donated to local charities in need. I hope to complete more in April, but with the recent changes afoot here, we'll have to see.

I finally saw a bird in our new bird feeder. The kittens were instantly on the feeder. I imagine their reaction was something similar to the coyote looking at the roadrunner, but seeing only juicy, tender meals. At least it gives them something to do other tha playing Tarzan on the couch.

30 March 2009


I think the most amazing part of nuno felting is how something so organic, so freeform can become so beautiful. It's well worth all the rolling and arm aches to see wool and silk mingling to form a solid fiber. This is my newest creation, made with a coworker yesterday afternoon who wanted to learn to do it herself.

Our felting engagement became quickly an impromptu dinner date. Her husband came over and we shared a spur-of-the-moment dinner (isn't that the best kind?) and a bottle of wine, good conversation and I then spent the rest of the evening pulling out different yarn and sharing my passions with someone who shared my fiber-y enthusiasm.

Our new (squirrel-proof, at least according to the box) bird feeder is hanging up outside our living room window. I have yet to see a single bird feed, but J said earlier that there had been several... and that they had caught the eye of two curious kittens.

I start back in the real world this week, my luxuriously long weekends now gone. With the economy the way it is, I am lucky to have a job that wants me to work MORE, not less. I'll need to spend the next couple weeks readjusting my time, my time management and my priorities. It has been, however, a beautiful weekend to end with.

27 March 2009

Making Butter

What do you do on a rainy weekend?

Make butter!

Making butter is really easy. I followed some online tutorials , but basically, you start with heavy cream and shake and shake and shake until you end up with butter. Not only did I get two delicious crocks of butter, we've got buttermilk for pancakes tomorrow morning!

In knitting news, I've finally cast on for for the Fair Isle Yoke from Stitch in Time (warning for link-followers--it takes you to Ravelry which you'll need an account for to see the pattern.) I've also got the yarn for Katarina which is part of the Knitmore Girl's podcast's knit-a-long. I'm not typically a joiner, so we'll see how my enthusiasm keeps up.

Other than that, it looks like it's shaping up to be another weekend of house cleaning and laundry. Not much else to do when your 5-day forecast looks like mine.

22 March 2009


Congrats to Monique! She was the closest to guessing my stash mileage. Monique, would you be so kind to email me (lapoliknits at gmail dot com) with your address and I'll see that your squishy, beautiful sock yarn hits the mail this week!

21 March 2009

Last Chance! Sweet Pea Blanket and Charity Knitting

Today is the last day you'll have to enter the contest to win the fabulous Chameleon Colorworks sock yarn! (Believe me, I don't part with yarn easily.) If you're not signed up for Blogger but still want to enter, please email me at lapoliknits at gmail dot com. I'll give everyone until noon tomorrow!

I feel like I've had a pretty productive weekend, so far. I've really been in the mood to cook! The two loaves of homemade bread I made on Thursday are practically gone (and can I mention here how much I forget how wonderful homemade bread is with a little honey?)

The tofu jerky I made yesterday survived the night, so we'll be able to enjoy it today. It rarely lasts more than 12 hours--I usually wake up to find that my husband has eaten it all night before!

Finally, I started on the Sweet Pea Blanket for a fillet-sized baby (not yet born!) (Oh, and mom and dad, definitely not mine.. don't worry!).

I've finished up a bunch of charity knitting this week, too. I'd like to find some time each week that I dedicate only to knitting for charity. Documenting all my stash really made me realize that I'm fortunate to have so much and made start thinking about sharing with others. There are a lot of really wonderful charities you can knit for (and I'd encourage anyone interested to check out Knitting for Peace as a great resource/starting point), but I was interested in finding a local group that needed knitters. I emailed several people I had found online and finally (!) I heard back from one. I've finished up two afghan blocks and started on a preemie hat.

Anyway, it's early Saturday and I'd like to get a good start for the day. I think I'll be making some more bread, but I also think I may make some peanut butter/maple cookies, too. Hope everyone has a lovely weekend, and I'll announce the contest winner tomorrow!

19 March 2009

The Prize for the Stash Contest

Keep the guesses coming! We're up to 7 now, but you still have until Sunday to pick a number (any number!)

I've picked out a prize for the winner, too. I've selected the Chameleon Colorworks Footsie sock yarn in a colorway called "Klee." I thought it was a perfect springtime sock yarn and since it's languishing in my stash, I will happily add it to the contest winner's stash. It's a 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon yarn and approx 400yds in the skein.

Keep your guesses coming! There are still three full days left in the contest. I was going to help everyone along by taking a picture of my craft room but the cats have made up their own contest this week to see how quickly they can destroy my spinning fiber stash, leaving the craft room in a state unfit for pictures. If, by some miracle, I can clean it up enough that it looks presentable, I'll be posting a photo here. If not, you'll just have to use your imagination.

15 March 2009

Lordy Lordy, Ain't It Great!

Q-jamins is turning.. four?

See what a patient puppy he is?

For his birthday, I made four homemade tartlets for Q. One was banana, one was banana/peanut butter, one was pb/carob and the last was carob. Spoiled!

Thank you for all who have more faith in my destashing than I do.. stash contest is now up to 4 votes! There's still a week left--I'll be posting prizes soon, too. I will say that it's good for me to have now listed mostly everything in a giant excel spreadsheet. I can sort by weight, I can see everything in my stash at once, and I can record everything I knit this year to see how much I knit up in a year.

Still raining.. J has a friend in town, I think we'll be meeting up with her soon.

13 March 2009

The "Is Anyone Reading?" Stash Contest

Because of a ball winding debacle this morning, my fibery pursuits have been limited. I've long wanted to know how many miles of yarn I have, so today, I've begun the documenting process necessary to find an answer.

So, my dear reader, I am having my very first blog contest.

I haven't determined a prize as of yet, as my brain is a little frazzled, but I will post the prize to be awarded before the end of the contest.

The question you have to answer is simple: how many miles of yarn do I have in my stash?

You should know the following: I am not counting the acrylic yarn I have stashed under our bed upstairs, miscellaneous handspun from a fiber festival that was labeled only in weight, not in yards. I am currently "in progress" on a project, I will not count the skein of yarn that is attached to my needles. I will, however, count the rest of the yarn not currently in use. (Does that make sense?) I will also not count half-used skeins, as I have a scientifically sound method of organizing the yardage, I'm just lazy.

The closest person to guess without going over will win.. something. The contest will end next Sunday, March 22nd.

Hap Blanket

The hap blanket is finally finished!

I love it! It's soft, beautiful, and I think I may go curl up underneath it with all this rainy weather. I didn't have a chance to swatch for Coraline yesterday. I think I may try that, as well as swatch for the Wakame Lace Tunic from last year's summer IK. I figure that I may as well cast on for something that seems.. seasonal?

12 March 2009

I am thankful this week that I have my full weekend to unwind, decompress and to knit! Last weekend, I spent elbow-deep in mucky sheep fleece. This weekend, I intend to finish up some UFOs (do you see that side bar over there?!) and maybe start on some new ones.

I have finished up two projects this week.. a pair of socks and a pair of soap holders. The soap holders are a remake from a lost int'l package that will be resent today (and hopefully this time they will make it to their destination). The socks are for a swap, too.

Yesterday, the mailman was kind enough to leave my package of warm wooly goodness at the doorstep for me. I ordered four skeins of Shelridge Farms DKW for Coraline. Reading the pattern more closely last night made me a little nervous that I don't have enough yardage, but I think if I find that's the case, I may do 3/4 length sleeves.

I am hopefully going to swatch for Coraline this weekend. Otherwise, I'll be working on the last twenty rows of my Hap Blanket.

08 March 2009


Many of the tips from the fleece need to be flicked open... I was feeling a bit frustrated this morning until I looked over at a pile of discarded, raw fleece on the side of the deck.

I do say there's been an improvement, no?

Yesterday afternoon I got impatient, so I quickly carded up some of the gray shetland so I could begin spinning:

It's spinning so finely. I think I'll be able to get a DK/Sport 2-ply of it, which is probably the finest I've spun so far. I'd like to be able to get a fingering weight 2-ply (or even try for a 3-ply) but my spinning skills are still lacking.

07 March 2009

Saturday.. nom nom nom

2.6lb of a fawn-colored shetland fleece. It's drying in the sun now (this was before picking and washing) but it's nice and squishy and oh, I can't wait for it to dry!

Nom nom nom. Delicious moorit gray/brown shetland. Here, still raw, but it cleaned up so beautifully.

What else, you ask? Handmade pie crust (a la Mastering the Art of French Cooking) in the fridge for tonight's custard pie. 5 skeins hand-painted yarn. 5 inches of sock knitting. Isn't that enough???

06 March 2009

A Stitch in Time

A Grade 2 AC Joint Separation has J temporarily without hobbies. The ortho doctor said yesterday 4 weeks no motorcycle, 6 weeks without skating. Of course, the doctor didn't say anything about driving oneself to the "Watchmen" midnight showing down the road. I'm thankful to have sat, or slept, that one out, as he didn't make it home before 3am.

In yesterday's mail, I was surprised to find my copy of "A Stitch in Time" which came surprisingly fast from the UK. I had promised myself I wouldn't get excited about it until week three but now, I can easily spend all weekend flipping through (and drooling over) the gorgeous patterns. The book is absolutely gorgeous, complete with beautiful photography. I'm happy, too, to see that the book contains both the original knitting pattern as well as the modern rewrite, as it will certainly impact how I look at vintage knitting patterns from now on. I saw, too, on Ravelry, that there is talk of a second volume within the next year, and I'm already eagerly anticipating the next installment. The only downside to such a terrific book is trying to decide what to knit first.