Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas (and New Year's Eve) 2009

That's my car. The white one. In the snowdrift. Several more hours (and inches) of snow followed this picture.

It took me a couple of days and the strong back of a neighbor's son who helped push the stuck car, but I got it dug out Monday night. Actually drove it to work Tuesday morning. Intersections are so piled with snow that seeing oncoming or entering traffic is tricky. The city works director says it will take four to five snowless weeks to get the streets cleared to their full width.

25.1" of snow. Crazy.

When is spring going to arrive? I've gotten my federal tax forms. I've been getting emails from Burpee. (BTW: Their new zinnias - Jazzy Mix - look great. Yellows. Reds. Bright colors. NOT WHITE!)

But. With all my whining. It is gorgeous. There was a sun dog this afternoon as I drove to Target to get ingredients for my new invention: home made pizza! I haven't gotten the whole recipe figured out, but so far: fresh mozzarella, fennel seed, artichoke hearts, spinach, and garlic naan as the pizza bread. So far so good! Oh. And black eye peas. Gotta have black eye peas for New Year's Day!

Happy New Year!

Rabbit, rabbit!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Evening

Ahhhhh. This is the quiet time. Plenty of food and football. BIG newspaper filled with some news and LOTS of ads. Cold day. Actually, more crisp than cold. Pure bright sunshine through my south windows. Gorgeous day.

Tomorrow is back to work and the gym. And the end of any shopping that involves a mall until mid- to late-January. Way too crazy out there and certainly not meant for amateurs like me!

The year is drawing to a close. Amidst all the wildness of the material world, this is a time of reflection. A quiet time amidst the insanity. What happened this year? What will happen next year? Hmmm. Time will tell.

Congratulations to Kim for defending her dissertation so well on Wednesday. The whole thing will be done for her soon. Not much longer for me, either. Back to entering data. And maybe another forkful of rhubarb pie.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Flowers in November!

Originally uploaded by fiberbrarian
Even with our nights down in the teens, these violas (and dianthus) survived. I couldn't resist bringing them in. Such a wonderful present for my birthday weekend!

Monday, November 02, 2009

Happy Birthday, North Dakota!

Full moon rising
Originally uploaded by fiberbrarian
November 2, 1889 North Dakota (and South Dakota) were admitted as the 39th and 40th of the United States. My grandpa Van was part of a homesteading family in what was to become South Dakota. Pretty hardy stock - those people who settled here. Hardy - or committed or stubborn or adventurous - or all of these attributes were required to live here. It's not an easy place even now. But the rewards are beyond measure.

This morning as I walked to work - crisp morning air - full moon still visible in the western sky - a honking V of geese flew over head into the rising sun. A spectacular place even within the confines of the 21st century.

Happy 120th birthday, North (and South) Dakota!

Happy Birthday, North Dakota!

Full Moon Rising Nov. 2, 2009
Originally uploaded by fiberbrarian
November 2, 1889 North Dakota (and South Dakota) were admitted as the 39th and 40th of the United States. My grandpa Van was part of a homesteading family in what was to become South Dakota. Pretty hardy stock - those people who settled here. Hardy - or committed or stubborn or adventurous - or all of these attributes were required to live here. It's not an easy place even now. But the rewards are beyond measure.

This morning as I walked to work - crisp morning air - full moon still visible in the western sky - a honking V of geese flew over head into the rising sun. A spectacular place even within the confines of the 21st century.

Happy 120th birthday, North (and South) Dakota!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

First Frost of the Season - 09292009

FirstFrost 007
Originally uploaded by fiberbrarian
First frost of the season. Covered the flowers last night, so I think they're okay. Too cold. Too soon. Did I mention that I HATE scratching frost/ice off car windows?????

BUT it's Homecoming week at UND - and next week is the Potato Bowl Parade and Game - so it's time. Fall is here. I can no longer say that the leaves are turning yellow and falling off because they're chlorotic. Nope. It's fall.

Wool. Mitts. Jackets. Scarves. It's fall!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

HatWars - first level

HatWars - first level
Originally uploaded by fiberbrarian
Here is my progress on the HatWars hat, first level. I'm doing "The Boy Hat" by Elizabeth Heath-Heckman. I'm at 6.5", which by my calculations means I can start the decreases. My victim's earlobe to earlobe measurement is 17". The pattern says to start the decrease at 2" from the top of the hat/head. So. Dividing that 17" in half (figuring just one side of the hat) equals 8.5" from the cast on to the crown (bind off). Since the decreases equal 2" of that total, I figure that the basic pattern should run 6.5". I hope that's right because I'm at 6.5" and I'm going to start decreasing!

My plan is to get this in the mail tomorrow (Monday) morning. Priority mail with confirmation. And then I'm going to come home and wait for my deadly package in the mail! Can't wait to see what yarn/pattern he/she chose for the weapon.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Just a travelin' gal

Playing - and I saw this map app. I've been to more states than I thought.

visited 25 states (50%)
Create your own visited map of The United States or another interesting project

Day 12 of the creeping crud. On Friday the doc said I would be noticeably better by Monday and I didn't believe her. I couldn't believe her. I was way too stuffed up and coughie to believe her. But she was right. Today is Monday. I'm still a little croakie but I'm much better. The miracle cure? Water. and Time.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

If you must have a fever....

If you must have a fever, this little rubber duckie thermometer will make the experience a little more pleasant. (Zoo Temps by Mabis Healthcare. ASTM Standard E 1112.)

He's stuck in my last undyed 100g skein of Merino fingering weight yarn - just itching to be dyed for the sock blankie swaps going on. Might have to do that today. Along with lots of roving for spinning.

Anyway. Yes, I do appear to have something. Swine or otherwise, I am decommissioned this holiday weekend. It should be over before work on Tuesday, which is good because I've got things to do. This interfered with my weekend plans, however. I'd hoped to take a fast day trip and then hang out at home, working on my writing. Instead, I'm at home, pumping fluids into my body. And the weather is so gorgeous.

Watching the Mizzou-Illinois game. So far, Mizzou is on top. I might be flying my Tiger Tail on my office door Tuesday. Just saying.

Beautiful weather. Stunning weather. Just enough breeze that you won't die from the heat of that focused sun. Gorgeous. Summer was late but it's here for a few more days.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Crock Pot Dyeing

teal green & yellow
Originally uploaded by fiberbrarian
Way too much fun! Lanaset dyes from

Started Friday night after work - and ran a crock pot dyeing marathon between my weekend shifts at work.

Very easy and very easy to manipulate the dyes to create color variations.

I will still use the kettle for a solid/mottled single color. The crockpot for variations (roving and yarn). And I'm going to try the oven again to see how that works. I 'oven dyed' roving when I first tried this but managed to damage/felt the wool so it was almost unspinnable. Happily I was a new spinner so didn't know the difference. And I got stunningly gorgeous (and lumpy) yarn from the process. This time I have a better idea of how to treat the roving during the washing process, so I have every hope this will yield beautiful spinnable wool again.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


smiley 004
Originally uploaded by fiberbrarian
Smiley, our beloved painted water tower, is going to be allowed to die. He hasn't actually been a working water tower for years, but standing guard and welcoming people as they travel along South Washington Street is not enough to warrant his upkeep. So he'll be torn down this fall some time. The demolition is less than the upkeep, so he'll soon be gone. Such a sweet smile.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sock blanket

Aug. 20 - sock blanket
Originally uploaded by fiberbrarian
Here's an update of the sock blanket. The picture shows two sections set in together to show how far it's grown.

Not much going on...except all the schools start next week. The town is already showing lots more activity than we've seen all summer.

The weather is not being very summer-y. We've complained all season that it hasn't felt like summer; it's felt more like fall! And now here it is - school starts next week, football will start IS fall!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

sock blankie

blanket so far
Originally uploaded by fiberbrarian
I am smitten. I could not resist! I've got a small basket of single blocks ready to add in.

Too. Much. Fun.

But running out of yarn combinations. I'm going to give up and do it totally 'scrappy'. Whatever I pull out of the basket or yarn bag - that's it. No second guessing. Just start knitting.

Not going to happen. I can do it in quilting but not ready to do it in knitting yet. Knitting is so much slower than piecing.

I'll just have to keep looking for more sock yarn to add to my menage. LOL

Sunday, August 09, 2009


Originally uploaded by fiberbrarian
Today's paper included ads for snowblowers and snowboots. And that's far closer to what it's feeling like than the upcoming few days of glowing sun icons with the warning "HOT".

I finally put in a tiny flower garden. Salvia (red), alyssum (white), dianthus (pink/red). To go with the volunteer sunflowers (yellow) and the out-of-no-where violas (yellow/orange, blues). Here's hoping that Mother Nature did not hear about the ?goldenrod? (some flower) blooming - apparently a frost will occur 30 days after this flower blooms. Oh, dear.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Beagle Scarf - Home Spun

LUV this pattern and collection (Berroco Norah Gaughan Collection: Men). My homespun Merino, 2-ply, size 5 US needles. Easy pattern - just count...and the pattern is starting to help me remember.

Fall seems to be setting in even as we're supposed to get a few 80' days next week. Just doesn't feel like summer. And now the days are definitely shortening. Keep this in perspective, though. The sun isn't rising until about 6am - and it's going down around 9pm. That's still 15 hours of sunlight. But losing that 30+ minutes in the morning is definitely being felt.

Football starts next weekend. Hockey starts Oct. 1. Curling will occur somewhere in there. Then it's Thanksgiving - Christmas - Winter Olympics! What a year!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Tour de Fleece Ends!

Today is the end of the Tour de France and Tour de Fleece. I think I managed to watch at least some of the racing every day even while traveling. I didn't spin everyday, however. I had a good time, though, and learned lots more about the race itself. And the teamwork involved. Stunning.

Eight ounces of plied "Moulin Rouge" will become mittens and hats.
Four ounces of plied "Cottage Garden" will be mitts/hats - and four ounces singles will be woven into a scarf. (Rigid heddle - my Christmas present to myself, I think)
Finally, 8 ounces of natural New Zealand wool - this will go into the pile ready for "August - the Month to Dye For"!

Today is also my mom's birthday. How appropriate that the last day of the tour ended in Paris - and the only time I've been to Paris was with my family years and years ago - and that it is her birthday. Happy Birthday, Vik.

Monday, July 06, 2009

End of the "Moulin Rouge" BFL

Tour de Fleece 2009 continues. On Day 3, I finished spinning the BFL...and started plying. Looking forward to fulling the yarn. BFL takes on a wonderful sheen after washing. Delightful to knit with. I have one more 8oz braid from Frabjous Fibers to spin. The next colorway is Cottage Garden. I have some natural (creme) BFL in the stash. That will be interesting to see how that spins - and eventually dyes.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Independence Day!

Tree -
Originally uploaded by fiberbrarian
Such a busy day already! Tour de Fleece has started, and I'm spinning Frabjous Fibers BFL "Moulin Rouge". Time trials for Tour de France, and the beautiful Monico, on in the background.

Going to be a gorgeous day - not too hot - not too windy - just right!

This is a flowering tree from in front of the Chemistry Building at the University of North Dakota. There's a pair of them, one on either side of the front entry to the building. What is the tree? I can't remember! It's some version of a lilac, which is why we noticed it in the first place. Lilac leaves, lilac flowers, even lilac odor - but not the typical lilac bush that is ubiquitous around here! Definitely a tree.

Have a great day, Everyone. And Happy Birthday, United States of America!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Happy Canada Day!

Happy 142nd Birthday, Canada! And may you have many, many more!

Birthdays are fun - and national birthdays are even more fun! I've got CBC Radio Two playing in the background - all Canadian music today. Nice. Have a great day! (Don't party too hard, though. Tour de Fleece starts Saturday!)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Minot Knitting!

Another great visit to the Bagel Shop and YarnStash. We spent time winding down sock yarn into little balls to share for the Sock Blanket.

Beautiful drive over here! Met a birder from St. Paul - he suggested that I actually STOP to look at the birds rather than drive past at 70mph...or at least slow down to 50! LOL

More later when I get home. Time to get the yarn swap moving!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Group picture. TdF 2009

Tour de Fleece 2009 is gearing up. The North Border Spinners is a group formed of spinners along the Canadian-US border.

My stash is about 20# (!) if I got the ounces/grams added correctly. Here's a list of what I have:

Yarn Stash/Minot, ND (YarnFloozie)
  • 8oz br BFL top Frabjous Fibers #10 Moulin Rouge
  • 8oz braid BFL top Frabjous Fibers Cottage Garden
  • 4 oz Merino silk 80/20 Lichen Louet
  • 1.5# Fine Brown Shetland Louet
  • .5# Fine White Shetland Louet
  • 1.5# Blue Face Leicester Louet (white)
  • 1# Wensleydale Top Louet (white)
  • .5# South African top Louet (white)
  • .5# light grey swalesdale Louet
  • .5# angora lambswool 50/50 Louet

From Hillcreek Fiber Studio/Columbia, MO (no rav)

  • 1 oz French angora (clipped) “Giant”
  • 8 oz Cotton Sliver “Coyote” New World Textiles
  • 4 oz Cotton “PaloVerde Green” NWT
  • 8oz Carolina Cottolin (70% cotton/30% flax) NWT
  • 2.5 lb NZ corriedale roving light grey
  • 2# 3oz NZ corriedale? carded sliver - natural white
  • 2# NZ corriedale roving natural med grey

from Hillcreek Yarn Shoppe/Columbia, MO IdleKnit

  • BIG BAG (?5#?) romney? corriedale? “Rambo” med grey.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


I can't find the remote control and it's going to make me nuts. What did we do before? Did we really GET UP and turn the volume up and down for commercials? Or did we suffer through the volume BLARE when they're on, just waiting for the TV show to come back and the volume return to a bearable level?

It's bad form, I know, but I do often write with the TV quietly on in the background. I'm sitting perched in the living room, laptop on my article/file crate that's on a stepstool. (Not as precarious as it sounds.) I turned Weather Channel down long ago so I could concentrate on something (someone has written my dissertation AGAIN - not really but it took me a while to calm down) but now I want to switch to CNN because the ship captain has been retrieved alive (I heard on a CNN email alert) but I'll have to go over and change the channel and then it'll be up and down volume over and over and over.


In the meantime, here's a picture of my work desk (where I am not at this moment):

You know you're a knitter when...

(Found it. Had dropped down into the crate of folders/articles. Peace reigns at last.)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Here's a photo of my latest project - hat and mitts from homespun and commercial yarns. Since there's yarn left? A matching hat is on its way!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Full Moon Flooding

Okay. It's not a real picture, but this is pretty close to what the moon looked like Wednesday night after the blizzard. Maybe some 'moon dogs' (reddish/yellowish crystals encircling the moon) and a stark white landscape. But this is pretty much what it looked like then. And almost like this when I drove in this morning before the sun came up. I'm not playing Pollyanna's Glad Game - the crystal clear nights are worth the cold. (Most of the time.)

We are definitely getting signs of Spring up here. Flood forecasts are out. It's not just me; flooding is in the news more this year than last. Fargo is going to get creamed. Because the Red River (of the North) flows north, we'll get the Fargo water, but our river channel is wider here so we can take more water (so I've read). The prediction is more than 70% that we'll get a major flood, which will likely close two of the three car bridges to/from East Grand Forks. The railroad bridge will get flooded, too. But the flood wall and dikes are supposed to take us to the 50+ feet marker.

I looked around my place this morning and decided: anything that gets left behind will be thrown out if we get flooded. I can't deal with sewage and mold and the various other offal things that wander in with flood water. So now is the time to figure out what's important and what isn't. I guess preparing for floods is the ultimate spring cleaning!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

EZ surprise jacket

EZ surprise jacket
Originally uploaded by fiberbrarian
Finished! Paton's Kroy sock yarn. LUV the color of the variegated. Found it by chance at Michaels after reading that they now carried sock yarn. Went back to buy more...gone. Clerk not really clear on if they would be getting more. With the economy as it is, I guess I should be happy that they're still here.

Still. It's beautiful.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Close call!

handspun Romney shawl
Originally uploaded by fiberbrarian
My (almost) worst nightmare happened last night: My car got unplugged.

I'm sure there was no malice - someone must have tripped over the cord as they walked by. (All the cars are plugged in with cords that cross the sidewalk and plug into the building. Not great design.)

The car definitely was not sure that it wanted to start but just at the point where I had to decide to continue turning the key - and taking the chance of totally killing the battery - or stopping, the car turned over and started. WHEW! The temps won't get high today, so I'll be out starting and warming it up.

Last night I finally got pictures taken of things I will send out via Macuwita Sni. The handspun Romney shawl is the big item. Roving from The Fold and the wonderful Toni Neil. Great person - super teacher - excellent vendor.

This cold spell has been hard on more than cars. The bunny pictured earlier has been around. He's not crazy about the 'wild life' food I bought for him. I saw a peanut shell, neatly opened. The raw uneaten peanut sitting there. Even its red covering had been removed. All carefully left behind. Uneaten. And s/he doesn't like corn either. I'll get some bird seed. That seemed to get eaten. By something.

The squirrels have built tunnels in the snow. I discovered that when I put some seed out under a tree - heard a squeek and saw a flash that disappeared. Eventually tracked it to a snow burrow. Pretty smart use of the environment! There's not going to be much thawing until April.

Wow. That is a depressing thought. I notice that I'm knitting with bright colors now. Must be a reaction to all this white! Luv the Romney shawl, but I admit I wanted to throw it in a dye pot and give it some zip!