Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bunny catching some rays!

dec28_2008 005
Originally uploaded by fiberbrarian
Look what I saw when I opened my curtains this morning: A bunny, soaking up some rays! Obviously a very smart bunny, resting its back against a black rubber heat-attracting tire. (And his brilliance was reinforced by the fact that he took off when my neighbor showed up to get in her car.)

Post celebration shock. Or maybe it's mid-celebration befuddlement. There's so much to do and yet it's intersession - aren't we all supposed to be on vacation, taking life easy?

Monday, December 08, 2008

It's beginning ...

Christmas - front window/yard
Originally uploaded by fiberbrarian
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Snow and lights and cold. (and somebody's bike on the front porch)

I'm on vacation - just stopping in to empty the camera and check e-mail/Ravelry.

Not too much going on outside ... can you see my new green extention cord? The car LUVS being plugged in! Starts right off. And I love the lime green cord. Makes me happy just looking at it.

I'm sending off a big box to Macuwita sni today. Here's the contents:

17 hats, 7 mittens, and 1 scarf. I had hoped to find someplace to send them in North Dakota, but it's getting too late and too cold to hold out for preferences! These knits want to warm someone - NOW!

Off to the post office ....

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Christmas knitting

I am spurred to write this because of the Yarn Harlot's annual I've got the Christmas knitting undercontrol post. This year's Unstoppable was posted Monday, Dec. 1...basically spitting into the wind.

My holiday knitting plan is different. I knit - and then decide who gets the item. A very simple solution. This comes from many years spent laboring over hand-quilted, -sewn, -crocheted, and -knitted gifts that have been treated as if they were bought at WalMart.* I admit to several post-holiday times when I'd find my carefully made item in the kids' toy box or under a plant or somehow in harm's way. It took me years to finally realize and accept that most people mean well - but they have been raised in a throw-away society.
We'll buy another one later.
And when they see all the cheap handmade items in the stores (and don't see all the poorly paid labor that went into making them) no wonder they don't respect my gifts! I'm not holding myself up as someone beyond this mentality! I can be just as wasteful as the next guy. But I am learning. And I am drawing a line.

This year's holiday knitting goes to afghans for Afghans and Macuwita Sni (South Dakota).

And maybe I should start thinking about my New Year's resolutions -
  • be more public in my knitting/quilting/spinning
  • start teaching these arts and crafts
Maybe. We'll see. In the meantime, I need to get some boxes packed and shipped off! Good luck, Yarn Harlot!

*NB: I do have a few people (only one of which is a Muggle, though) that appreciate and respect my labor. They've been known to get a present or two from me.

Monday, November 24, 2008

HolidaySwap 2008 from OzKnitter!

Here's the open box from OzKnitter that arrived on MY BIRTHDAY (!) November 22, 2008. Part of the HolidaySwap on Ravelry, we agreed to open only one present before Christmas. OK was nice enough to include some unwrapped snacks, too. The top left shows a magazine of beautiful food and tables. The silver envelope includes my card and ornaments. ORNAMENT PIX COMING!

Why did we agree to wait??? LOL

Monday, October 20, 2008

First frost on the car = First day of winter

First frost on the car = First day of winter. Or at least the slippery slope is viewable.

I hate scratching car windows. Brrrrr. A shiver of (negative) anticipation just went through me: shin deep in snow, trudging a path to the car. Starting the engine, hearing that annoying beeping sound as I leave the car running and get out to start scratching. Swearing, realizing I've got the wrong mittens on. (Yes, I actually have HUGE ungainly mittens for scratching. Warm but so bulky that I can't drive in them. Perfect for scratching.) Annoying dinging again as I dig inside the car for 'ice-scratching' mittens. Ding ding ding ding ding. (Like I don't know the car door is open.) Ding ding ding ding.

This is the about the only thing I don't like about winter -- scratching the car windows enough to be able to drive to work.

Because the first frost also means that I can put out the bird feeders and the suet thing. And only 66 days until Christmas! Plus this weekend I saw a gorgeous sugar maple just a few blocks away. And I saw a special display of lefse makers at a department store this weekend, too! And lights are starting to show up in windows.

That's one of the nice things about winter darkness - seeing lights in the windows. They are especially sparkly in the cold frosty winter air.

NOW I'm starting to remember what I luv about winter.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Summer happened - and back to winter!

This is something I'm working on. The materials were a surprise gift from my friend Cyndi. The great thing about this pattern is that it lets the yarn do the work.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Snowy Saturday of spring break

Here is my Saturday picture. I've seen some of the blogs of the Saturday picture group. So nice to see a snapshot of the world on one day! I don't want to be that organized, but I carried my camera with me yesterday on campus. This is a view of Chester Fritz Library during a little snowstorm (officially 2.4", surely seems like more) on the last Saturday of Spring Break. All is quiet in this part of the world.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hat Attack

My binary cable hat for Hat Attack 2008 is DONE! As of last night (Sunday) at 9:15pm. I actually had stuff that needed to be done this weekend, so I could not knit full-time on this. I also spent way too much time doubting the pattern and my skills.

The designer did an excellent job - everything worked - and I learned a new way of looking at patterns. Really! I went back to my lace knitting this morning (got one more set done) - and realized that I could now relate the pattern to what was actually happening in the yarn. That insight is directly because of knitting on the binary hat. I spent so much time examining the cables and comparing them to the pattern that I must have learned something! Whoda thunk it!

This is Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted - in amethyst. Uses less than a skein. I think the color is perfect for it, the rich hue adds depth to the cables IMHO. The designer specified this yarn specifically because it produces \| stitches rather than \/ (balanced?) stitches. You can really see that in this hat - the vertical legs of the stitches in the cable create a beautiful line that emphasizes the cable's shape. Good work, Designer! I learned so much!!!

And this morning I went back to my lace knitting.

I'll get the hat into the mail today or tomorrow. I'm thinking tomorrow since it's cold and our branch post office closes in a couple of hours. (I am just getting warm from my trip in to work this morning!) My assassin has said that her weapon is in the mail, so I'll be out soon. No rush to kill off my victim. I finished what I wanted to do - and learned so much more than I expected. Good experience!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Not my original plan

First lace scarf
Originally uploaded by fiberbrarian
Starting on a knitted lace scarf last night was not my plan. The night before Hat Attack? Start a new project???

I did two bumps last night. The rest I did this morning, waiting for my courage (and the pancakes) to kick in so I could head out into the blizzard. Since I live in town, the blizzard is not too bad -- just horribly cold. (-6'F, windchill -33. winds at 26mph gusting to 34mph)

This lace scarf is SOOOO fun! Now I sort of understand how people can get addicted to lace.

I found this in the Web catalog ( The pattern is from Misti Alpaca ( Here's the link to Asphodel Lace Scarf (

This scarf pattern tells you to knit the two ends first (this is 5/9th of one end - there will be 9 bumps when it's completed). Then turn the bumpy side down and pick up stitches from the smooth end and begin knitting the scarf. It's the scarf pattern that boggles my mind - it's covered in little lacy stars!

BTW: the flash on the camera really ruined the subtle coloring of this yarn. I hadn't even seen the striping until I looked at the flash picture. The color is quiet - subtle - Anne Black - includes black and purple and navy and bronze/copper. Gorgeous.

I was going to take a picture of the blizzard to show you what a blizzard can look like in town - and I actually stopped on my way into the building, and then realized I would have to take off my mittens. I didn't even get to the part about having to take the camera out of its bag, aim and focus, etc. The thought of taking my mittens off stopped me cold. So - think about horizontal fog...whapping at you...and instead of that misty dewy feeling substitute a sharp angular biting sensation. That's the Cliff Note version of a blizzard in town.

Seriously, I had planned to come in really early to get the Hat Attack pattern. Hearing the wind that came in about 4am made me think that I'd wait a bit. Then listening to the radio - a sheriff from a little town up north called in asking for help. He asked that the radio broadcast a message to the woman who had been stranded for three hours in a ditch somewhere, with low fuel and a now-dead cell phone: "Hang on. We're trying to get to you." He called later to say the same thing to a man who was stuck (except that he had a full gas tank). Much later, or so it seemed, he called in to say they'd gotten the lady, and they were on the way to the man. Visibility could be measured in feet.

Seriously. You don't mess with blizzards. You take Mother Nature very seriously.

Okay - off to Hat Attack!

(One more thing: the KnitPicks ( catalog references 'doing cables' tutorials on their Web site. I need to let my assassin know - she's new at cables.)

Friday, February 08, 2008

BLOOMING impatien - feb. 6, 2008

impatien - feb. 6, 2008
Originally uploaded by fiberbrarian
Spring is springing eternal around here! I was hoping these cuttings from last summer's garden might survive through the winter, giving me a little bit of life in the house. I had no thought about them blooming! What a happy surprise! Especially with the blizzard blowing in tonight!

Yup. Blizzard tonight and tomorrow. Why now? I am sure it's because the Hat Attack pattern will be released tomorrow morning. (I'm pretty sure that the weather is based around my calendar! LOL)

My victim is in Michigan. (KNITTED HAT victim in case that sentence just set off some Patriot Act software in the sky.) Not a good sign when I signed on to Ravelry and my victim had already found me and sent a note. But at least she's my victim - someone else has to worry about her as an assassin! MY assassin is in Texas, and I got a note from her, too. These seem like lovely people - but all's fair in love and Hat Attack!

I'm thinking that I might contact the GF Air Force Base to see if they could deliver my hats. I know we don't have the same US Post Office access as the big cities. (Someone on the list said that MPLS has 24-hour service at the air port! Which is why I'm thinking we should bring in the air force. They're flying around anyway. What's a stop in Michigan?! LOL)

Okay. Back to the flower and good calm thoughts. Seriously, the plants are waking up. I've got a little rubber plant that's been sitting for a month or two - suddenly it's growing like mad. I look out the window and do not see what they see/sense. But I trust them, so I think we will have spring this year!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

KoolAid Scarf!

KoolAid scarf - whole
Originally uploaded by fiberbrarian
I've finished the KoolAid experiment - here's the proof!

The entire experiment (started last August) is in my Flickr area ("KoolAid"). The scarf is cast on and knit length wise. It's about six feet long. Mixed garter, stockinette, and reverse stockinette pattern by rows. Picked up and knit the ends in garter, using the two different greens in the scarf. Makes it look sort of patchwork-y.

I'm pleased with the experience. Not likely to do it again, but it's reminding me of August, which was a very nice warm time here. Almost hot.

The last couple of days have not been warm and certainly not hot (nor humid, either, so let's not be too harsh). It's now 6' above zero, which is the high temp for a few days, I think. The weather looks like we might be moving to a post-winter time. I don't think that's too wishful thinking. There are still cold snaps but they seem to be lasting only a couple of days. And the sun is bright and shining, just like I remember.

The day before yesterday was coooooooooold. I ran out to OfficeMax on an errand - and saw my first 'sun dog'. That's when a rainbow appears with the sun at its center. Must be the ice crystals in the air, reflecting on the light. Gorgeous. Still very cold, but pretty, too. It was worth the trade off.

I'm playing/working with Wimba and podcasts in my other life. When I get something together, I'll post it over in Fiberbrarian. (I guess I should check and see if it's still there.)

I have been knitting and spinning - just not posting. With the loss of Edwards' candidacy, I guess I've been spurred to action.
Almost everything you do will be insignificant, but it is important that you do it. --Gandhi
Enough said.