Monday, November 28, 2011

Santa? Is That For Me?

I know that it's a month early, but Santa stopped by and brought me this!  Santa and I picked it up yesterday for a song (if I told you how little we paid for it, it would make you weep with envy).  It looks like it's complete and works very smoothly as it was obviously very well taken care of for the last 85 years.  I have wanted one of these all of my life, and as far as I can remember it's the same model that my Grandmother had.  To add to this great tale, the gentleman who we bought it from knew the two women who had owned it (the second was his late wife).  As it turns out, this machine was probably originally purchased from the general store that my husband and I now own!!!!  I also know many of the relatives of the two former owners.  Santa ordered a new drive band for me today, the old one had dried up and broken years ago, and I am waiting like a schoolgirl on Christmas Eve for it to arrive so I can give this beautiful piece of Victorian engineering a very serious workout.  In fact it's first work out in this century.  Of course Dave had to check it out with me to see if it was in good condition.



Check out Dave in this pic, he looks like he's going to punch me, haha what a guy.  He was actually in a great mood and was a very good boy all day.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

My Wovember Entry


I was making a bowl of Scottish Oats for breakfast and looking forward to finishing a cabled hat I was making in natural Oatmeal coloured MacAusland's 2 ply wool yarn, when I realized that they go together in more than just colour.  Wool and oats are both warm, protective and comforting.  Figured that this would make a good entry in the Wovember photo contest.




I did finish the hat today....right after I finished the oats, both were terrific.

Dave spent quite a bit of time snuggling me this afternoon, he's just under 6 pounds at just over 4 months old...he's going to be very big.


And handsome don't you think?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cat Adventures

Although Dave (that's our cat) is almost always in a good mood, spending too much time cooped up in his carrier while making too many stops on the way to his appointment, did not make him a very happy guy at all.

He was so young here, he still had blue eyes.

By the time we made it to the vet for his appointment, he was in a really bad mood.  The receptionist, although well meaning, decided that she needed to take him out of his carrier and fuss over him after he had already hissed at her.  So after hissing 5 more times at her, I actually had to tell her to put him back in his box.  Needless to say, that made his mood even worse.  Being held against his will for two needles and a pill really, really pissed him off.  He was so traumatized on the way home he decided to poop in his carrier, thank goodness it was less than 10 minutes to drive home.  He's much happier now that he's home, but now he's in for the weakness and crappy feeling he gets after a needle.  Poor little man.  I feel so bad for him.  Good news is he forgave me and was looking for love immediately upon our return home....such a good kitty.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Chaud 7

Just cast on sock pair number 4 of 6......

....they look white but they're actually a really nice oatmeal, and of course...MacAusland's 2-ply 100% wool yummmmm!  These should keep Dad's feet warm:)

Monday, November 14, 2011

....and now for something completely different...

Green living, homesteading, being a kinder custodian of the planet, leaving a smaller footprint, wanting less....yup that's what I'm about.  In keeping with my newer lifestyle, I've decided that instead of buying new chairs for the living room, I am going to try reupholstering for the very first time.  I'm no stranger to textiles.  I can sew, spin, knit and mend but reupholstering is definitely a first for me.  The chairs, two classic wing backs, are 18 years old and except for dated, stained and worn fabric...they are in very solid shape.  So I took a trip to a local fabric store last week and rummaged through their bargain room and found this...



Then I spent a couple of hours yesterday doing this...


Now my hands are sore from removing staples, but I was very happy to see just how solid these chairs are.  Wish me luck in the finished product, I'll post the results.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

In Sheep's Clothing

In honour of WOVEMBER, check out this great film taken in the 1930's  In Sheep's Clothing .  I love it!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mildest Wovember Ever.




As anyone who reads this blog knows, I'm a proud believer in the myriad qualities of wool and can't wait until cooler weather arrives every year so that I can wrap myself in it.  Well this week, the second week of Wovember, the daytime temperatures have been in the double digits on the Celsius scale....that means warm.  So far for Wovember I've been working with 100% pure wool every day, It's been cold enough to sleep under 100% pure wool every night, but I'm afraid it's been too warm to even put mittens on!  This is very rare on the East Coast of Canada.  It usually does get very cold here at this time of year (and very damp which just makes it feel colder), but not this year...actually we've had a few Novembers like this due to climate change (don't get me started on that....just be kind to the Planet, OK).  I have managed to wear wool everyday by wearing a sweater as outerwear, but I'm afraid that's the best I can do.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

One for me....One for you....

Not much progress on Keefely Mitten number 1 since yesterday.  As much fun as it is to make something for myself, I have to put it down from time to time and work on paid knitting.  A promise is a promise so I take knitting orders very seriously and try to get them all completed in a reasonable amount of time.

Keefely Mitt


Today's cast on is a cabled hat in natural white MacAusland's 2 ply 100% wool yarn.  There must be a thousand cabled beanie hat patterns available that look similar to mine but I can't help being proud that this was the first pattern that I made myself.

My Cabled Hat


Monday, November 7, 2011

First Time FairIsle

For some time I've been craving trying colour work, namely fairisle.  There are so many beautiful patterns available both old and new, by so many talented designers.  I've had my eye on these Keefely Mittens for some time, so today I cast on....


I can see that I'm still a touch tight with stitching, but I think these mittens will still fit me just fine.  I'm pleased with my first attempt.  I'm using MacAusland's single ply 100% wool in dark grey, light grey and white.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Things That Go Together.

I'm a homesteader.  I'm also a knitter.  These things couldn't go together better.

The last couple of days have been productive (even while nursing a head cold) and full of WOOL.  Told you I had Wovember in my heart every day of the year.  I've been working on an order of hats made from woollen blankets and stitched together with wool yarn and I'm still working on wool socks for my Dad. 




I also took a few minutes today to pick the hips off of the wild roses that grow just outside my back door.  I didn't plant those roses there, the birds did and I thank them for it.  I decided to take out the seeds and throw them into the hedgerow, figuring that without seeds the fruit would dehydrate faster....and they did....

These little beauties are headed for a jar with the addition of dried Lemon Balm and Lavender from the garden to make a wonderful fruity tea blend.  In the coming years, maybe the hedgerow will be full of them.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

More Than Just A Blanket.

I see blankets as more than just blankets, especially those woollen blankets that every family seems to have.  Some of those cozy wool blankets are ooooooold, some new, some in excellent condition, some with scorch marks, some with wee stains, some with the edges worn, torn or missing.  But one thing they all have in common (other than being made of wool) is family history.  When I look at an old blanket, whether it is in good shape or not, I see history.   A blanket can really tell a story...an epic even!  People have been made under blankets, born on top of blankets, kept warm in winter, kept snug during a flu bug and yes, have even taken their last breath under that beautiful piece of textile.  An entire life lived (or many many lives lived) under and on a single blanket.  That's quite a story for one simple piece of wool cloth.  High Fives all around for the Wool Blanket! 



A modest sampling of my wool blanket collection sitting on top of a yarn chest my Father made me.




Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Taking Wovember to Heart

When I first read about Wovember (see my last post) and I decided to wear or work with 100% pure wool all month long, I realized....Hey, I do that almost every day anyway, all year long!!!  I love wool, I love everything about wool.  And yes, it bothers me that some labelling (and people) call yarns and fabric from other sources by the name "wool".  Wool is not a pseudonym for yarn, nor vice/versa.  Wool is wool.  Yarn can be made from wool, and in most cases that's the only yarn I use.  I do often throw other fibres into the mix like alpaca, mohair, cashmere, seacell and silk....all natural, but they're not wool.  Wool is wool.  Wool comes from sheep.  Wool smells like.....wool blankets.  Wet sheep smell like wet wool blankets.  Just thought you should know that.  Wool is fire resistant, incredibly warm and holds it's thermal properties even when wet (just ask the wet sheep).  Wool can be itchy and coarse (great for outerwear and carpeting), it can be extremely soft and comfortably worn against the skin, and any degree of coarse or soft in between.  Wool makes a good insulation.  Wool is a natural product.  Wool is harvested from sheep without needing to kill or harm them.  Geez, what more can I say, I love wool and everything about it.  For any of you who read this blog and have not yet knit with wool, I urge you to try it. 

These are wonderful mitts that a friend gave me last year, she knit them from I believe merino wool?  This is what Wovember means to me.


Wovember also means a continuation of my work with...you guessed it...WOOL!



This is the inside project page of the my new book Knitting Socks from Around the World, I loooooove this book and winning it was even better!!!!  Thank you Helene.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

WOVEMBER



Read all about it here at the  WOVEMBER Website.  I'd tell you all about it, but they say it so much better than I can!

Two of Six......

......sounds kind of Treckie.....Two of Six....Seven of Nine....sorry, I couldn't help myself.  Sock pair number Two of Six is on the needle and building fast, this time in burgundy.  All 6 pairs will be made with MacAusland's Woollen Mill 2 ply yarn.





Today was also bread day, once a week I make two loaves of bread for DH and I to enjoy for the week.  This week I made Unbleached, Organic, White.  Next week's batch will be a Light Organic Rye.