Friday, September 30, 2011

Fiber Arts Friday: My First Socks

As promised last week, I will tell you about my first socks... :-D

But, ok.  Yes, it's true, if you count the Duck Feet I made for my nephew, these are technically my second pair of socks.  But since these are supposed to fit a specific set of feet and not just be cute, these are My First Socks.  :-)

I decided to try a simple, toe-up pattern.

This first sock was cast on using the figure 8 method.  It was a little loose, and I wasn't able to tighten it up later as the pattern suggested.  I wanted a square toe, so perhaps it's because I cast on so many stitches?

The heal construction was almost like magic to me.  I was just amazed as I saw the heel develop.  Then after it was finished, the sock actually fit my intended foot.  Holy Cow.  Magic I tell you!  Magic!!

Hubba won't let me take a photo, so you'll just have to believe that it fits him.  ;-)

I employed a generous use of lifelines on this sock.  I've come to appreciate the benefits of ripping out.  But especially the benefit of ripping out to only the point of last-known-success and the benefit of having all of the stitches strung-together-in-the-right-orientation.  Yea, lifelines are definitely worth the time.

The only mistake I know of is that I did not finish the heel with the one remaining stitch on the correct side.  I think I missed one of the K2Tog's with the gusset at the beginning.  So I didn't have the one stitch on the knit side to join with the instep and "prevent a hole."

I just have a few more rounds to go before I bind-off.  So I'm pretty excited about this little sock.  :-D

I hope you're having a great Fiber Arts Friday.  Please be certain to see what everyone else has been up to over at Wisdom Begins in Wonder.  :-)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


My weekends have become a tad fiber obsessive.

So much, that I go into fiber withdrawal during the work week.

It has me dreaming of that day when I can play with fiber, alpacas and doggies all day, every day. :-D

Friday, September 23, 2011

Not Pregnant

Our vet came by earlier today.

He did an ultrasound on both Daisy and Frieda.  They are definitely not pregnant.

Due to Hubba's and my travel schedules we did not follow the complete protocol, so chances are, they were never pregnant.

He gave us a slightly different protocol to follow, so hopefully we will be have better luck next time.

The good news: Kocoa is definitely pregnant.  She is due on October 17th.  She has been unpredictable for her first two pregnancies, so we will be on official watch starting October 1st, but I'm expecting the cria will arrive closer to Halloween.

Fiber Arts Friday: Spinning Yummy Suri

I was the chattiest member during the Tour de Fleece and because of that, I was allowed to choose anything from the Etsy Shop of Wonder or a custom batt or a skein of handspun yarn or a pattern.  Anything that my heart desired. :-)

Well, I adore the Wonder Why Gal and she adores Suri Alpaca, so I selected a beautiful blend of 70% grey suri  and 30% white merino.

The lovely pencil roving arrived at the end of August.  I was able to begin spinning it in early September and finished it last weekend.  I think pencil roving is my favorite to spin from.

The final result is 4 ounces and 252 yards.

In other Fiber Arts News: I am working on my first pair of socks, but I will have to share that next time. :-)

I hope you are having a beautiful Fiber Arts Friday and that you spend some time visiting the lovely Fiberistas who have linked in over at Wisdom Begins in Wonder.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Still No Cria

Our maidens didn't look a whole lot different after my recent trip to my client's office.

The puppies looked different, the cat looked different, but the "pregnant" alpacas did not.  So I made an appointment.

Our Vet is coming out on Friday to see what's going on.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Feeling Grateful

I was thinking this morning about how so many things have changed over the last few years.

One of those things was starting this blog. I wasn't exactly sure how I felt about having my thoughts out there for all to see, but I felt I had a voice and I needed to write.

I wasn't confident enough to think anyone would actually find, let alone read this blog. So I just tried to be honest about what was going on in my head, and was conscious not to share too many details that might affect my privacy in a negative way.

There's been an ebb and flow with posting.  Sometimes I seem to post every day, sometimes not for a few weeks.  I like to post at least a couple of times each week, but if you're reading this you know I haven't achieved that goal much recently.

Eventually though, the first comments came from people I didn't know. It was surprising and exciting and caused me to want to write more.

Now a few years later, I'm still surprised that there are regular readers of this blog. Some of you have become more like friends and less like strangers which makes me very happy.  There's a good chance we wouldn't have met without this thing called blogging.

I love being able to review the post I've been willing to make and the many, many that are still in draft form.  But most of all I am grateful. I am grateful for the people who take a little time and read this blog. I do hope you find it useful and/or inspiring because most of your blogs are useful and inspiring for me.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fiber Arts Friday: Elevation Profile Scarf

When I finished the Traveling Woman Shawl, I was in a bit of a frenzy about what to start next.

I thought I was going to start a project with my early handspun, but it didn't feel right.  Then I made a swatch for socks, but needed to purchase smaller needles.  So I spent about 24 hours with nothing on the needles.  Nothing!

Talk about feeling weird.

I finally settled on a scarf that had been on my list since last November.  Hubba had brought this Yak/Merino yarn from Japan and insisted that I make something for myself.

It's no secret that my Hubba is a Marathoner.  After all, he was in Japan to run a marathon.  Are you tired of hearing about that yet?  You shouldn't be, I haven't mentioned it in quite a while.  ;-)

Anyway, when Marathoners are choosing races to run, one of the things they consider is the elevation profile of the race.  So when I was contemplating this lovely yarn, I showed Hubba the Wayfarer Scarf from Brooklyn Tweed and he immediately said, "That looks like an elevation profile."  It sealed the decision and the scarf went on my To Do List.

This is my first time using a pattern with only charts for instruction.  O.o  I've ripped back several times.  First because I was making the decreases one stitch to the left of where they should have been so the grey portion was not shrinking.  Second because I was making the increases incorrectly which resulted in a hole rather than the correct pattern detail.

Third because I thought I was making the increase in the incorrect location, but after I ripped it out I realized it was fine.  And fourth because I made a transition between the colors incorrectly and was unable to fix it to my satisfaction... otherwise this pattern is simple.  As for my first real attempt at charts, I think it's going well... now.

I'm just over half-way complete with the scarf and into the 3rd chart out of 4.

A nice thing happened on Monday while I was traveling.  The lady who was sitting next to me on the plane told me that she was impressed by my knitting skills.  Which of course made me happy.  Then she told me it reminded her of breathing.  That the in and out of the stitches was just like breathing and that it was very meditative for her.  I think that's probably the best compliment I've had in a while.  :-D

Hubba said all I need to do is add yoga back into my life and then I will have no stress because I will be meditating all of the time.  Ha.

Anyway, I hope you all are having a beautiful Fiber Arts Friday.  It's starting to cool off here, which has me dreaming of comfy-cozy woolies.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Support is a funny thing.

Often times you don't get support from the people who you think should be providing it.  But that's really only part of the story.  Because sometimes you get support from the people you least expect to provide it.

I have one such person.  Well, I have several such people... a few who I think should be supportive but aren't and one person in particular that has been tremendously supportive who I didn't expect.

What a blessing that is.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fiber Arts Friday: Spindling Camel

They say spinning camel is difficult.  So I've wanted to try it for some time to see why.

This is 1/4 ounce of baby camel roving that came in a spinning sampler I picked up at the Estes Park Wool Market earlier this year.  There are a few other interesting fibers in this package, but I'll save those for another time.  ;-)

The camel drafted a lot faster than anything else I've spun, so I accidentally broke the roving several times.  But eventually, I got smart and tried pre-drafting the roving, which helped a lot.  Then I spun with smaller chunks of pre-drafted roving which was the secret for me.

I really enjoyed spindling the camel and will definitely try it again.  :-)

I just love the color.  It's also quite soft. So much so that Hubba did a little shopping for a real-live-camel. It's a good thing there weren't any immediately available. lol.

The total is 1/4 ounce, 22.4 yards... a perfect little micro-skein.  :-)

Please be sure to head over to Wisdom Begins in Wonder and see what everyone else has been up to for Fiber Arts Friday.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

400 days?

I've been reading some forum posts that indicate maidens can have a gestation period of more than 400 days.

Four Hundred Days!

That's more than 13 months.

Frieda and Daisy: Still Pregnant

We are currently at days 370 and 371.  Which is just over 3 weeks past due or 12 months and one week of gestation so far. Ugh.

Daisy has given me false hope several times over the last few weeks but Frieda has been pretty much normal.

They're doing all of the normal late-term things... standing over the poop pile with nothing going on, laying with their legs out to the side, cushing on their haunches, hanging out alone or near the gate.  Their bellies are very firm and quite round.  Today's exam indicates no change.  So I have a call into our vet.  It's time for a professional opinion regarding our status.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fiber Arts Friday: Organizing my Stash

A few weeks ago I discovered the All Used Up flag on Ravelry.

I doubt it's new, so I'm sure most of you are aware of it, but just in case, it's on the right side just below edit stash details.

I had been wondering why my yarns that had been entirely consumed and showing none left were still listed in the midst of my stash.  So with this new discovery, I cleaned up my Ravelry Stash and felt much better.

While doing that, I had a brilliant idea for a new project but my actual stash wasn't organized well for finding the yarns I wanted.  So I re-organized my actual stash too.  Yes I am an engineer.  I try to fight it, but it's who I am.  I NEED to sort.  ;-)

I was already pretty well organized since most of the yarn was labeled in a bag and then sorted into a bin... alpaca, wool, other and more alpaca.  You can see that some of these bins were stuffed full.

While I think sorting by breed is a fine idea, my project needed yarns of the same weight, regardless of  the breed.  So I pulled all of my yarns out and sorted by gauge....

Side Note:  Hahaha, imagine that!  A project requires yarns of the same weight.  That's probably true for most projects.  Some times I really am brilliant.  ;-)
I then pulled out the yarns that have been allocated for other projects and put them into their own labeled bins.  I'm surprised I hadn't done this before.  I always segregate the yarn required for the projects I'm working on, but I hadn't done it for the projects on my To Do List.  It was amazing how much more clear my brain felt after I did this.

So after I segregated the allocated yarns, I was able to see what was really available for my new idea.

I pulled those out and returned the much smaller piles of yarn to their original bins... alpaca, wool, other.  But now I only have one alpaca bin.  :-)

I found out that most of my early handspun is not listed in my Ravelry Stash nor is my collection of roving.  It will require some dedicated time to photograph and list those yarns, so I guess it's a good thing we're upon a holiday weekend.  ;-)

I'm not certain that I will carry out that brilliant idea, but so far those yarns are still set aside.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday!  Please head over to Wisdom Begins in Wonder and give the Fiberistas some comment-luv

Thursday, September 1, 2011

This Week

This week has gone by so fast.

Actually most weeks seem to go by fast these days.

It must be a sign of getting older, or at least of doing too much.  But also the days are getting shorter.  It's dark before I'm finished for the day and I'm no longer being woken up by the sun.

The view from our back stoop on a recent morning.

Wonton (aka LGD#1) has been on house arrest for the last several weeks with a broken toe.  She has one more week to go.  So she's been waking me up at the appropriate time, but as soon as she's back to work, I suspect I'll be needing an alarm again.

This dog is not spoiled at all.  Nope, not spoiled.

It's been a tough summer with hail storms, broken toes, surgeries and broken equipment.  So I thought I would share some good news from this week.

Unfortunately it's not cria... yet.  Both maidens are still pregnant.  Daisy seems to be progressing.  I thought for sure she was going to have her baby yesterday, but it seems s/he needs to bake a little longer.

Last evening's exam indicates Daisy is further along than Frieda now, but I know these things can always change.

Same photo as earlier this week, because everyone is still pregnant.

The good news I have to share is that my client has offered another project.  Yes, that makes me very happy.  :-)  Also, my current project is progressing.  Development is nearly complete which means integration testing is starting shortly.

So my current project is going well and my new project starts up next week.  We have babies coming and puppies being puppies.  Canning season is ramping up and work is happening on our basement.  So I will continue to have more than enough to keep me occupied (as if that is ever a problem).

The real good news is that I will continue to have regular income and continue to have interesting work to do.  It also means that I will continue to travel to MSP for at least one more winter.