Monday, January 23, 2012

The Agony Goes On.....The Finorkin Fiddlehead Fiasco

It's bad, People. It's very, very bad. As you recall, I knit half a Fiddlehead Mitten (heretofore known as 'The Finorkin Fiddlehead Mittens') and decided that I needed to go up a needle size. I did and was very pleased with the results.  I knit the blue. Groovy. I even started to like the icord cast on. Then I knit the teal...Oooo! Nice transition.  Then I got to the sea glass green and the thumb and all of that jazz.  Still going really well... I switched to the purple heather....hmmmm, not wild about that but I'll keep going....Then I got to the fifth color, a darker purple, and knit all the way to the top decrease and look what happened.

#1.  There are two colors of purple there and even though they don't look like it on the skein, they are too close in color to tell apart when knit side by side.
#2.  All the blues together and then the purples looks ok when I laid the skeins out, but clearly it is too dorky to live in reality.

So....sigh....look away, People. You know what happens next. I'm frogging the whole thing AGAIN and will rearrage the contrasting colors so it is Navy, Heather Purple, Teal, Dark Plum then Sea Green on the finger tips.  The only thing I'm debating now is whether to keep the ash gray as the main color or use the darker colors as the main color and the grey as the fiddle heads design?  Anyone want to weigh in?  I have absolutely no faith in my ability to put colors together now.  But at least I'm getting my money's worth/ 'enjoyment' out of the pattern and yarn, no?  Aren't Knit-Alongs fun, Nanc?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Agony of Defeat Or In This Case...Da Hands

So Miss Nancy and I started our Fiddlehead Mitten Knit Along on Saturday last. I had a devil of a time getting the i-cord cast on even enough for my liking and then I started to put the thumb gusset on BOTH sides of the palm before I stopped myself after five rows, but otherwise the pattern was pretty straight forward. I am almost through the gusset. In fact I'm this far:
Don't know why that's upside down and I don't really care... because as of's all coming out! We talked about it this morning and both of us feel that since our stranded knitting is pretty tight, we'd better frog the whole works and go up a needle size or too-particularly since there is a liner mitten that has to go in there too. The plan is to go up two needles sizes on the outer, stranded, mitten but drop back, either one or two sizes down, for the inner liner which isn't stranded and therefore should be knit a bit looser. It's a good plan, but after ripping out a huge chunk of sweater front out on Friday, ditching another  two nights of work gives me a little heartburn. But at least I'm not alone! The joy of a Knit Along, eh Nanc!?!  Rip it, Sistah! Rip it!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Relaxing Weekend

We had a pretty relaxing weekend around here for a change. It was finally sunny again.

My Knit Sisters came over on Friday night. We watched a Harry Potter movie, had warm apple dumplings and they commiserated with me about having to rip out 6 inches of the sweater front I was almost finished with. Le sigh.

Saturday I did some spiffin' up in the nest which included cleaning out my bookshelves. Two huge bags are out the door!  A bag of knitting ones for the Knit Sisters and a bag of cookbooks for St. Vinnies! Ahhh... space!  My place will never be Zen, but I don't want it to turn into an episode of Hoarders either!

I also started the Fiddlehead Mitten KAL with Nancy. I haven't done i-cord cast on before and I love the way it looks but it took a bit for it to click for me. But I've finally got one mitten on and about 8 rows of the palm!

Today I had a barn shift. It was nice to see the gang again. Colder than heck though. Took a while for Anna to get up and going. She was so asleep when I got there that she was groggy for quite a few minutes; yawning and blinking. It was so cute. The pigs surprised us by not running from their stall out to the pen like they always do.  Maxine stopped to dine on some duck food on the way out of the barn and Beatrice started down the back path for Verona before we enticed her back with some sweet feed. They must not have been too hungry this morning because usually all you can see is piggy butts bouncing straight for the troth, be it in the barn or in their pen. Toby is growing and we had a snuggle session that included a surprise French kiss. I've always allowed that I didn't like beef tongue on principle but it wasn't that bad.  (I'm joking.  It was GROSS!)

I was so cold when I got home that I warmed up with a shower,fleece jammies and hot tea and Big Doggie B and I sat around, watched movies and relaxed.
And now he wants to know....
"How was your weekend?"

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fiddlehead Mittens Knit Along

Nancy, a friend of mine from back in the day in Maine, and I are embarking on a Fiddlehead Mittens Knit Along on Saturday. I haven't looked forward to a knitting project so much in quite a while. Nanc is taking a class at her local yarn store and sent me an email wishing that I still lived in Maine so I could go with her. I told her that I have had the pattern forever and would love to knit it along with her as she takes her classes. We'll chat about it and send progress photos online.  I've never done i-cord cast on so I may even learn something! (Won't Nancy's knitting teacher be surprised when she has to conferences me in by iPhone because I have questions! )

Here is my yarn:
The ash grey is the background color the 5 skeins on the bottom are the accent colors and the two balls of purple are 100% baby alpaca for the lining. Sah-weet!

The Countdown has begun!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Power Of Positive Delusional Thinking

So I went to the filling station this morning to get a cup of coffee. I do this a couple of times a week. They rotate flavors through but I almost always get hazelnut. For the last month or so though, there has been a wee sign on the hazelnut carafe that says try 'French Toast Muffin' .  I did and I LOVE it. It's very unique- way different than my normal hazelnut.   Sweet somehow. You can really taste the maple overtones. It quickly became my new favorite.  Today when I bought some, I used the last of the carafe so the following conversation with the Filling Station Lady ensued:

ME: I just maxed out your French Toast Muffin coffee.
FSL: What?
ME: I just used the last of the French Toast Muffin coffee.
FSL: (blank look)
ME: I just took the last cup of French Toast Muffin coffee (pointing to the carafe).
FSL: Oh! You mean hazelnut!
ME: (patiently) No, it's in the hazelnut carafe, but it says French Toast Muffin.
FLS: No, the coffee is hazelnut, the sign is just to get you to try one of our new French Toast Muffins.
ME: (Stunned silence)

That's right, People. I had been drinking my same old hazelnut for a month now thinking it was something brand new and exciting.  There's a lesson in there somewhere but I don't have time to learn it. I have to figure out a way to invent my beloved,  though imaginary, French Toast Muffin coffee!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Wild and Wooly Weekend

No farming this weekend. I was supposed to attend a horse class on Saturday afternoon but was ill and couldn't go so I haven't seen any of my babies since last Wed. and won't see them 'til THIS Wednesday!  It's still been a pretty full weekend even with not feeling well.

I went to the dentist on Friday. I woke up Christmas morning missing a chunk of my bottom, front tooth. I'd already chipped the other one. I blame Santa. After eating all of those cookies year after year, his own chompers must be falling out by now.  But to steal them while you sleep seems a little extreme. In cahoots with the Tooth Fairy no doubt. So I went in and endured the 'all I want for Christmas is your two front teeth' jokes and got them fixed. $149! 

Then I took Ben to the vet to get his nails trimmed and have someone look at his boo-boo ear. He is prone to ear infections in his left ear because of the way it's designed-not a lot of air circulates in there and it stays moist. He has a lulu this time. $149! I was beginning to think it was a conspiracy!

I went to Knit Night for a bit in the evening. My girls always make everything all better. That and the peppermint hot chocolate.  I've picked up this sweater again  and am making good progress. See! there HAS been knitting!

And I'm also looking forward to having a Fiddlehead Mitten Knit Along with my bud, Nancy, back in Maine. She's taking a class at her local yarn store and I've been wanting to knit them forever so we'll do it together over cyberspace! I am lining mine with 100% baby alpaca! SOFT!!!!

Saturday I was pretty much down for the count but felt better enough this morning to get up and go to early breakfast with friends, Scott and Michael. We went to a new restaurant called The Egg and I and it's pretty yummy.  I love hanging with Scott and Michael.  Lots of laughter mixed with soul searching.

As you know all dogs on the planet belong to me. I just keep them different places. Scott and Michael have my golden-doodle, Duchess, and take excellent care of her. She was along for the ride this morning so I go snorgles and snogs and she also gave me a belated Christmas gift.

Purple elf shelf sitters! Aren't they adorable? She has excellent taste, no?

This week brings Knitter's Guild, farming, shoe shopping and carpet cleaning. Who could ask for anything more? Have a good week everybody!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Great Goat Rodeo

Since it was Wednesday night, to the barn I took flight,
To do chores in this cold winter season.
Tonight there was a note, said,  'Put coats on the goats,
To keep cute, fuzzy butts from a'freezin.'

How hard could it be? There were just two, not three,
That didn't have coats on already.
The coats had  some straps and went over their backs.
We just had to hold them real steady.

It seemed easy enough, for these two were not gruff.
The task should go smoother than butter.
And the goats were both Billies so the belt for their bellies
Wouldn't get all hung up on an udder.

But the two it turns out, had heads filled with doubt
'Bout the statement they'd make, so important,
To the llamas and mare and the other folks there,
Should bright-hued winter coats, they be sportin'.

So they dodged and they weaved, on the run they believed
From our efforts to wrap up their torsos.
But they were so wrong, because even head strong,
WE were determined and more so.

We flung out the clothes, o're their backs, where they'd go
Trying to cinch round their tummies with Velcro.
It required some skill and a great deal of will
And the wrestling moves of a Sumo.

But finally we won, the enrobing was done.
Each boy snuggly-warm like the others.
But next time there's a note about dressing a goat,
I'll decline it if I have my druthers.
Brown Goat clip art

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Heartland Farms 2011 Recap Video

As you all know from my yammering since July, Heartland Farm has become one of my favorite places to be.  The setting, the animals, the people, the work they do...all very soul restoring.  They have put together a heartwarming video of the highlights of 2011.  I encourage you to click on the link and watch it. It's about 4 minutes long. Please consider Heartland when you make your charitable contributions for 2012 so that they can continue this amazing work.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Born To Run

This morning at the farm, we took Anna and Cherish down to the big back pasture for the first time.  They had previously been in a small yard off the side of the barn that would shelter them a little better and confine them a bit while they healed and gained strength. It was a chore getting Anna, the mule, down to the new pasture. Sarah, the barn manager, led her, but as you can imagine Anna was more than a little scared and all kinds of excited to be in a new place and took poor Sarah 'off-roading' a couple of times before she finally went through the pasture gate. Cherish, the horse, is much more subdued than Anna. She's had a longer journey to get back to 'healthy' .  But even she stopped in her tracks a couple of times at the prospect of all of that wide open space, and had to be persuaded to move forward.  Once she got through the gate and saw all of the field grass she commenced munching and was happy as a clam to just amble about sampling the different plants.

Anna, however, was ecstatic.  She ran in big circles in the pasture, kicking up her heels and trying to entice Cherish to play with her. [This involved Anna charging Cherish and nipping her butt.  Cherish would just give her a 'For-the-love-of-G*d-Anna-can't-you-see-all-of-this-grass-I-have-to-eat? I'm-busy! Bug-off!' look and resume perusing the buffet. ]Then Anna would  come back to the gate and stand in front of us for a minute as if to say, 'Did you SEE how fast I was going?!'  Then she's take off again for another lap around the field.

After being neglected and keep in a too small enclosure, having untrimmed hooves that prevented her from even walking properly and then confined for health recovery, this was the first time in her life (she's about a year old) that she was allowed to run! The absolute JOY was written on every part of her.  Brought tears to my eyes. I can't think of a more significant way to begin 2012.  May all of us find the simple things that give us unrestrained joy in the New Year!

Sturgeon Bay Speed Racer

I was in Sturgeon Bay over the weekend and went to see the Third Ave Playhouse's matinee of Shooting Star with Doug Mancheski and Amy En...