Thursday, August 31, 2006

I Made a New Friend! (and part of a sock)

Last night I met Jessica of Clickety-Clack Ewe at Bella Vita, a new, cozy (yet spacious) coffee shop (with a fire place!) Jessica is one cool woman, and she doesn't even know it. I love the blogosphere! The funniest thing she told me was how she learned to spin. When she was growing up, her mom got tired of the grass growing so long in between mowings, so she bought some sheep to keep it short! And when it came time to shear them, Jessica & her siblings fed them rose petals while her mom cut their hair. (Jess, I hope you don't mind me sharing that story but I get so happy when I think about how simple and wonderful it is.) We've got plans to do some kool aid dyeing in the near future.

Also, I got a few inches done on David's sock. And here's a gratuitous cat v. duck picture.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Frogging Things and Just a Few Pics of Eoin

So here's where we're at. I was waiting to post about the weekend because I thought I'd have some nice WIP shots to post. But after casting on for a second Honeymoon Cami (I can finish this before the weather changes, right? Right???) with this wonderfully soft cotton in a natural green color, and after progressing about 3-1/2" on it, including a seed stitch border, I realized that my gauge was all wrong. So I frogged it. And because casting over 200 stitches onto circular needles and then joining them without twisting is a big PITA, I decided to put that one aside for a while and move on to the long-promised socks for David, made with this wool I got from MD S&W (this stuff was so cheap!) I knew checking the gauge on black yarn would not be easy, but OMG it is a big nasty headache-inducing pain! I kind of fudged it, but in a way that was satisfactory to me, and I started on it, and got about 1" along, and then realized I was doing stockinette when I wanted to be doing ribbing. By this time it was about 12:30am and I just ripped it and gave up. So that's what the pic is of -- the green for the Cami, the grey and black for the socks. I'll take it up again tonight.

Despite all the futile, go-nowhere knitting, the past weekend was made delightful by a visit from Becca & Eoin. We went to a harvest party at the Round Barn Winery in nearby Baroda. While their wines weren't our favorite -- they were all decent but no real stand-outs -- the party kicked butt, and the winery was set in a rustic green farmland region. There was a live band, food, wine, helicopter rides, grape crushing and a big bouncy castle for kids to play in. Eoin wasn't so crazy about stomping on the grapes -- he wouldn't put his feet down in the barrel -- he loved running up and down the rows of vines, and jumping in the bouncy castle.

We stopped in New Buffalo to play in the water on the way back (and to get ice cream!)

Thursday, August 24, 2006


So, the students are back on campus! This weekend was Freshman Orientation, and classes started on Tuesday. David & I walked around campus and saw the various "ice breakers" being forced upon the "kids" by their elders. My favorite was a girls' dorm/boys' dorm giant homemade twister board, with about 50 frosh crowded into it. Every couple of minutes the caller would shout out a new color/body part combo, and then spray the players with a hose! It was pretty funny.

Today I decided to go to campus with Dave and dress up as a student -- backpack, jeans, fleece, roll out of the day...Here's where I'm hiding out andshower without drying my hair...hmm, now it seems like I play dress up every working, the LaFortune Student Center. I like to observe these youths in their natural habitat. Or maybe I'd like to be one of them again.

As I'm blogging, I'm thanking every possible deity that digital cameras were not really ready for prime time when I was in college. Can you imagine what kinds of pics would have been posted? I mean, I did some pretty horrendously embarrassing things in my day, not the least of which was puking in my innocent Panamanian roommates shoes and causing her to exclaim, in her sweet little voice, "Oh, Michelle, you are leading me to evil!" At least she wasn't wearing her shoes at the time...But seriously, no one is safe -- future politicians, beware!

Ah, to be a student again...David received an email from a fellow grad student asking if anyone knew where he could buy and ice luge...and another student complained about a 10AM group project meeting on Friday morning, saying, "Dude, don't you guys party???"

Poor Pluto!

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Ballad of Sheep and Goat

I was in fiber heaven on Saturday at the Michigan Fiber Festival. Early in the morning I headed up there alone to do some intensive browsing/shopping before meeting up with David and his bro & family. I really, really controlled my buying impulses...I thought that I'd be worse off without having Jess, the guru or Jenn there to help me exercise spending caution, but now I realize that those 3 are dirty enablers, the lot of them! I received a lot of compliments on the Honeymoon Cami I was wearing (but I have to shorten the straps again, because I think they stretched a little after I washed it), and I got to speak to a lot of spinners. Even though I haven't been practicing that craft much, and can't do much more than spin a bunch of single ply on a drop spindle, I bought a little bit of roving to practice on -- some alpaca (of course), wool and a mohair/wool blend. It was pretty cheap, and is just enough to get my hands dirty with.

I learned a lot about fleece by watching this woman, who was the judge of the wool fleece contest. As she weighed, pinched and fondled the bags of wool entered into the contest, she commented on each category and why the fleece met or did not meet the requirements to get full points. The fleece in this pic looks like a whole sheep lying on the table, but that's just its hair!!!

Here's my stash, small as it is -- maybe the recent Suss sale prevented me from going more insane. The white stuff was some really inexpensive undyed wool that I'm thinking of Kool Aid dying. The roving is in the front (alpaca in the middle), and the pink and green Lamb's Pride was selected by my niece Annika to be made into hats for her and her brother Alek. The festival was really cool, but a lot smaller than Rhinebeck or MD S&W.

There were only a few alpacas and llamas, but rabbits, sheep and goats were plentiful. Alek and Annika really enjoyed looking at the animals, even though the border collie demonstration was kind of a comedy of errors. Imagine a dog being afraid of a sheep! But then later he gets his courage back and chases them into a folding chair, over a barrel and around and under a get the picture. Apparently it was just a young dog, but we enjoyed the show in any case, and border collies are really cute.

After the fest we headed up to Saugituck, MI, a really cute town on Lake MI. We went to see Talladega Nights with A Second Breakfast & her special friend, her parents, and our friends, Ruthless and Em. That movie was SO FUNNY and SO BAD!!! At the same time! I couldn't stop laughing, but it was so stupid. I highly recommend it.

Hey, how about them Yankees?!?!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Happy Birthday, Jen-nay!

Today is Jen-nay's 32nd birthday, so if you know her, wish her a happy day! I sure do!

No, this isn't a cow's heart, and I'm still a vegetarian...this is just a little different type of craft. I wanted to tie dye some onesies for all the babies coming into my life, so I went out and bought some RIT dye and other paraphernalia and got right down to it. They're pretty cute, but I need to get some more practice to make the colors more vibrant. I just kind of lost patience and got tired of chasing Kingston off the table so he didn't tie dye himself. The big one in the middle is mine -- I got so much dye on my t-shirt in the onesie-dying process, I decided to just immerse the whole thing.

TOMORROW IS THE MICHIGAN FIBER FEST! I'm so excited, even though I'm going by myself. I've got a short list -- something for the Family Tunic, Hooded Tunic and a sweater for Dave. But that doesn't mean I'll stick to that list only...having a list didn't exert much control over me at MD S&W -- and neither did Jess or the guru, for that matter. I haven't really progressed that far in the art of spinning, so at least that should curtail any mad roving/spinning wheel purchases.

David is coming to meet me there, with his bro & family, so it should be fun. Of course, they are coming to meet me later in the day, so I have enough time to get my fill of fiber. They're mostly coming for the animals.

Speaking of cuteness, Brady's grandmother (Kerry's mom) sent me this adorable pic of him. I think he totally looks like my dad here!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Saturday night in CO we went to see the Black Crowes at Red Rocks Amphitheater. I had always heard incredible reviews of this venue and really wanted to go, and it worked out in an unexpectedly pleasing way that one of Todd's "must-see" concerts this summer was happening last weekend and there were still tickets available. This is the MOST AWESOME place to see a concert, EVER! The setting -- amazing -- the stage was set into some natural red rock formations creating unbelievable acoustics. The weather could not have been more perfect -- great temperature for an outdoor show and then at the end, a warm wind started blowing and whipping around Chris Robinson's hair just making the whole event kind of other worldly. Am I being cheesey? Was I just too buzzed from all the parking lot pre-partying and enjoying it way too much? Maybe, but if Red Rocks was around here, I'd be there. All. The. Time. Of course, upon returning to reality, we found out that Chris and Kate had split...damn! That's why she wasn't at the show...

While out west, David & I also got the chance to go horseback riding at Capitol Peak Outfitters near Aspen. I highly recommend this experience, the view was beautiful and watching David's horse hang back and eat while everyone else was moving forward was hysterical. Here's a shot of him all by his lonesome, at the back of the pack...

And look what I bought for a buck at the wonderful Boulder Farmer's Market! No, not Mango , I'm referring to the 1oz. ball of brown sheep fleece. I bought it to practice with. It was much more nicely rolled up when I bought it, but David thought it would be fun to play with it and pretend it was a bunch of dreadlocks...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder?

Sorry it's been a while since my last update, did you miss me? David & I were on vacation in Colorado. I love going to Colorado with its open lands so different from what I'm used too, and its big sky. It's just beautiful. And Boulder, where our good friends Todd & Jenni live, offers head-spinning varieties of sustenance for vegetarians. Are there any other veggies out there who kind of freeze up when a restaurant has more than 1 or 2 options for you to choose from? I can't decide, it's a lot of pressure, I'm not used to having choices!!!

Luckily I finished the Honeymoon Cami right before leaving for the west, and it made 2 appearances -- here I am in Aspen, ready to head for some wine. It fits so perfectly, I love it! I'm a little scared to wash it, but I want to wear it to the MI Fiber Fest this weekend so I'm about to plunge it into the sink and pray for no serious mis-shaping/unravelling results. I also have another FO that I can't post a pic of until its recipient sees it (but thanks to Heather for the pattern!)

More pics to come tomorrow!

Friday, August 04, 2006


Sorry for the lack of knitting content, but on the car ride out to CT I broke my very skinny #1 straight needles and just got a chance to get some new ones today (metal this time). I don't know if I can knit now, however, due to a self-induced thumb injury. I've had a really rough week (besides Brady's wonderful birth)! My car broke down, my dad had a hernia operation, I sliced my thumb and had to go to the ER, we had some pet issues...the list goes on. But we're all okay (except maybe not the car...I'm waiting to hear on that).

In good news, I've got some more pics of Brady, Sam and their friends to share. And it makes me happy to share them.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Heeeeeeere's Brady!

Sam has a brother! Brady Walsh was born on August 1, 2006 at 1:52pm. He weight 8lbs 8oz and is 20-1/2" long. David & I got to hold him when he was only 1 hour old, it was so cool. Everyone is doing well and he'll be coming home tomorrow. Sam was happy to meet him.
Here's one last pic of Sam as a single girl...