I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch…

Of eggs!  The girls are starting to produce.  It is about time they pull their weight around here.  I’ve been feeding these moochers since June and finally they are giving back.  Isn’t this a lovely looking basket?  egg-basket

5 hens producing 3 eggs a day.  Somebody is still slacking, or maybe I really have 5 layers and they all are lazy only giving one every now and then.  Can’t figure it out, but I expect more per day as they days get longer.  AND the rooster, Smokey Robinson, is clearly doing his job.  Every egg we crack looks like it is fertile.  How can you tell you may ask?  Well, the spot on the yellow looks like it has a halo around it.  I would like to try to hatch some, but hubby doesn’t want to use an incubator, so I guess we  will have to wait until someone gets broody.  Imagine letting them do it naturally.  What has this world come to?

I have also been knitting some more.  I went to a Fiber Festival this past weekend.  Wow, talk about inspiration.  I bought all kinds of stuff and came home ready to hit the wheel and the needles.  If I only didn’t have a life.  I wonder if you can knit while you ride horses?  Anyway, I did make this neat cowl.  I think it is artsy and if you close one eye and squint, it is kind of pretty.  Made with trash silk yarn.  Don’t know where I will wear it.  I seem to have an over abundance of cowls.

art-cowl

But, I have gotten inspired to try my hand at socks again.  I pulled out my half-finished $50 hot pink sock and am going to try using the toe up method with circular needles.  Looks much easier if I can figure out how to master the Turkish cast on and switching up needles without getting confused.  More to come on that one.  If anyone has any words of wisdom, please pass them along.

And finally, the biggest news of all around here is the birth of our newest grandson.  Should have led with that one, right?  Surprise!  Max was born on February 10th.  A few days early; he was supposed to be a valentine.  Just a cutie pie!  Maybe he needs some socks from grandmom.  max

That’s it!  I can’t top that one.

mvb

TaDa!!

My first spinning project is complete.  Well almost, all I have to do now is wash the yarn I made and then figure out what I am going to knit with my masterpiece.   I spun brown and white wool; 1/2 pound of each.  Doesn’t sound like much, but holy spin BatMan it is a lot!  The process, for those of you that don’t know, is to spin the colors separately and then put the together in what is called plying to get a two ply yarn.  These are my two colors waiting to be plyed.   Actually, I had already started plying them so imagine each spool a little over half full.  When you spin your wool, you spin you thread in one direction to make a one ply thread.  Both threads are twisted in the same direction.  When you ply it, you spin it together in the opposite direction so that you don’t unwind your thread that you just made.  I am finding that you really need to be very coordinated to do this.  I took me two weeks to consistently get the wheel to go to the right to spin the wool, now that I am plying I have to get the wheel to spin to the left.  All of this while using both hands to feed the yarn into the wheel at a consistent speed without getting tangled.  It is quite comical; I talk out loud to my wheel.  I will have to give it a name cause it certainly seems to have a mind of it’s own.  

Three hours later, I have 360 feet of this brown and white 2-ply yarn.  360 FEET!  120 YARDS!  What am I going to do with all this?  I am not someone who can wear brown.  I think all my kids will get brown and white scarves next year.  Here is my finished skein on what is called a Niddy Noddy.  Funny little tool that helps you wind the wool.  Also not an easy thing to get right.  All in all I am very pleased with my first attempt.  Now I have the bug and want to do more……look what just came in the mail…I think I will save it until I get really good.  It is so pretty, I want to just touch it.  Is fondling fiber illegal?

mvb

Spinning Wheel Has To Go Round

Guess what I learned to do!  I am officially a spinner, a maker of hand spun yarns, a natural woman extraordinar. Ok, that is a little over the top, but I have started spinning!

About three weeks ago, my friend (a fellow equestrian) came over with a spare wheel that she had.  Knowing how much I love fibers she decided I needed to learn to make my own.  What I can’t figure out is why she had a spare wheel.  Those things are not cheap and she has 4! Well actually she has three now that I bought the one she brought to my house.  See, isn’t it cute?imageIt is an Ashford Kiwi.  LOVE the name.  Anyway, I started spinning. She gave me some roving and said have at it.  My first attempts were really not good….img_0494Not something I would care to work with.  Would you?  BUT I have gotten much much better. This is my first spool of wool that I am going to use.  I will ply it (since it is only a single ply) with a white that you can see on the wheel.   Not bad!imageI am so excited.  I didn’t tell my friend, but I have been wanting to learn how to do this for a really long time.  I am always looking for more ways to spend my money. But it really is a natural progression for me.  I started my working career as a buyer and clothing designer for a local woman’s retain chain; I knit, and I love to put colors together.  Once I get really consistent in my spinning I am going to try and put different yarns together.  I doubt I will ever dye my own yarn. I just don’t have the space but who knows.

What I do have the space for are animals.  Can Sheep or Alpaca be far behind!

 

mvb

Socks…Uh No!

As you know, I started knitting my first pair of socks last February.  I bought pretty hot pink yarn, the book on sock knitting and spent an entire day in class.  I felt pretty good as I managed the four (yes 4) needles necessary to handle at one time to knit these special gems.  I got the top ribbing done, turned the heel and started on the foot.  One day I took a really hard look at my work and decided it was terrible.  For one thing I had the dreaded ladder where my four joins happened and secondly my heel was all messed up.  I put the project in my bag and that is where it been.  Sitting in my family room.  Mocking me each time I glance over at the bag; every time hubby asks me how the socks were going.  Not going to happen, not in a million years. Nobody in my family will know the joy of a pair of hand knit socks; at least not from me.

Needless to say, I have not been knitting.  You don’t start a new project when you have one already going.  Yea Right!  So my very dear friend sent me a text early December and asked me if I would knit her a messy bun hat.  She even sent me a pattern that she found.  Unfortunately the adorable hat was crocheted and not knitted.  I don’t want to learn to crochet, I really don’t.  So I did the only thing I could think of.  I WENT TO THE FIBER STORE!  I was only going to see if they could help me find the pattern I needed.  Big Mistake!!

The second I stepped into the store I knew why I knitted.  It isn’t because I love spending hours manipulating knots so I can barely move my fingers.  No it is because I absolutely love the fibers.  I love the fibers so much that I have often talked to hubby about opening a fiber store.  But alas, I don’t knit well enough to run such as shop.  So, I just  have to satisfy my love of beautiful colors and soft wools by buying them in mass quantities.

But I digress.  So I never did find the appropriate pattern for the messy bun hat, but I did find my knitting mojo.  That day, I purchased a beautiful yarn that I knitted up into a soft peach cowl for my son’s girlfriend.  As soon as that project was done, back to the store I went.  This time, infinity scarves for my daughter-in-law and both granddaughters.

Big sigh, I love knitting!

mvb

Life Is A Snow Globe

I love metaphors, don’t you – Life is like a snow globe?

Sure it is…give it a little shake and in the blink of an eye, the scene changes.  Sometimes ever so slightly, sometimes way more dramatic.  So with a shake of the snow globe of my life, here is where we are two months since my last post.  It may take more than one post to bring you up to speed.

First of all, nothing EVER came of the bad mammogram.  My radiologist decided after many visits etc, that it was nothing to be concerned about and we will revisit in six more months.  Not sure how OK I am with that in light of the fact that big sis died of breast cancer, but what to do?   Its a crap shoot depending on who you choose to trust. How in the world do you know who to listen to.  My doctor feels that I should wait and see, so I guess I will wait and see.  AND it turns out that the place that I had the mammogram has had a high incident of false positives lately.  So, I am putting my head in the sand and will cross that bridge again in six months.

Speaking of breast cancer, I orchestrated an event in early October that raised over $3200 for breast cancer research.  I named it Ride for Research and with the help of a very good friend and my riding club we put together a very successful benefit ride.  ride-for-research

We had over 90 riders come for the day.  It was spectacular to see so much support.  My husband and brother in law served food for everyone.  We even had a silent auction going on during the day.  It was a lot of work, and took almost a year of planning but I feel really good about what we did and how much money we donated in my sister’s name.  In spite of the fact that she would have hated the event, I know she is proud of what I was able to accomplish.  (Hum maybe I have a career as an event planner?)

Robley, my new horse, has settled in nicely.  He is doing well, full of himself and about to pop!  The boy can eat and is now getting fat off of the air.  How he does that I have not a clue.  I have cut all his grain out, he is just getting hay and still he packs on the pounds.  He and my mare have a hate, love, hate relationship.  He has decided he is in charge and is pushing  my “boss” mare around at every chance he has.  She has nailed him with some nicely placed kicks and still he comes back for more.  My little energizer bunny!  I took him to a weekend clinic to improve my confidence and get some concentrated saddle time.  It was a very good weekend, I was in the saddle literally for 18 hours over three days.  AND we cantered.  That was my goalimg_11451

The job I was so excited about has ended.  I had applied for a 20 hour a week job with the local Head Start office.  I was hired as the Disabilities Services Coordinator (for which I was highly qualified)  Took the job as a 32 hour a week position and ended up working 40 hours a week.  Not the biggest issue. What I didn’t know was that the group running the local organization was circling the drain of incompetence.  Two weeks ago, the regional office came down to inform us that a new company was going to take over, revamp and the whole thing would be put out there for bid to be run by another set of folks.  Basically, there was a corporate take over.  Now since I was a contractor, I was told that I would not be offered a position with the new folks until I went through the interview process.  Since it was more hours than I wanted, I politely declined.

Oh did I mention all this happened while I was out for knee surgery?  Yes almost a year to the day, I had my knee operated on.  Same knee, same issue, same surgery.  Different doctor, and it appears a different outcome.  I think it is going to be alright this time.

So to recap…back to work for hubby, no breast cancer, and still hobbling along.  Maybe my shake of the snow globe just put my life back to where it was last December.  All in all it could have been worse.  The rest of the story next time…

mvb