A study in blues and greys

Blue jays and a female hairy woodpecker ate like birds at our feeders today. The blue jays are especially crafty. One pecks from above and makes a mess while another cleans up below. A pair of chickadees were flitting around and we only saw the tail end of a new arrival with a white belly and long tail. ID to follow if we ever see its head. It was hidden behind one of the feeders and ate for about 5 minutes. Even though we awoke to snow this morning, spring is definitely in the air. Just to prove it, we lose an hour of sleep tonight. It was too cloudy last night to see the Aurora Borealis but maybe today? I’m forever hopeful.

Below is a recent weaving disaster. I had problems when I “dressed” the loom. So bad and the weaving was so unpleasant that I employed a desperate measure. Rather than waiting to weave the whole mess off the loom, I “undressed” it. What would have been four placemats became a mat for under one of the cat bowls.

In better progress is the Na Craga sweater for my son. He asked me to lengthen it so I frogged back the neck and shoulder decreases and lengthened the front and back. Now the front will become the back because there is a minor flaw in what would have been the front. I’m sure only I will see it, but it’s all I will see. Not even a flaw, just one stitch which looks looser and may block out. But just in case.

Could this be cabin fever?

I’ve engaged in several indoor projects over the past week or so that make me wonder if I have cabin fever.  My outdoor activity has been shoveling and snowblowing and I got tennis elbow in the winter from shoveling heavy, wet snow.  I’m such a wimp.  So my mind turns indoors.

Yesterday, I made yogurt.


This is in preparation for our lighthouse gig next winter in Tasmania, where we have to arrive with our three months worth of food.  There will be no trips to the grocery store and we enjoy yogurt, which I found is very easy to make. I followed a recipe in Mother Earth News.  The only ingredients were milk and a little yogurt starter.  The art is in maintaining the right temperature.  I tried to keep it warm in a water bath in the crock pot and may have overheated it in the end.  It tasted good in a smoothie this am though. Next I’m going to try it with powdered goat’s milk and keep it warm in a cooler.

I’ve been writing medical articles for livestrong.com about women’s health and a couple have been published.  They are not for the feint of heart.

And I’ve been knitting and spinning.  I’m still working on the good old fleece.  I’m in the home stretch with only about half a garbage bag left.  I’m almost done with an aran cardigan, just waiting for new needles to arrive to finish the neck, and have begun my kool aid series of girls’ sweaters.  What fun.  I spin and knit while watching the Olympics.  Luckily, when I do make it out of the house, the local food store carries all flavors of kool aid.

Handspun aran sweater
Kool aid sweater body

Over the top tart

Inspired by the movie Julie and Julia, I have been adding new recipes to my repertoire.  This tart tatin last night was amazing.  It was so pretty, I almost didn’t want to eat it.  But we did.  And it was good.  Years ago my parents gave me a hardback version of The Way to Cook.  I had old bookmarks scattered throughout it but had not used it for years.  Now I refer to it almost daily and find something delicious to make and eat.

So today I have to go out and cross-country ski to work off the calories.  It’s a balmy 20F with some fresh new snow.

On the knitting front, the little Aran cardigan from my hand-spun is coming along.  I have a picture of a sweater that Tim’s mom had made for his sons and am using that as a guide.  Here’s the work in progress. I’ll post photos of the two side by side at some point.  I’m really enjoying working with my yarn and can only hope it stands up to the test of time- and that my gauge is right and it will fit someone. I’m using my mother’s old knitting needles, Tim’s mother’s design and I really feel connected to the older generation.

Baby it’s cold outside

The weather outside is frightful…pc190035well not exactly but it’s pretty cold so I have taken to indoor projects.  I knitted up a baby set based upon Elizabeth Zimmerman and just love it.  I enjoy that her projects get me to think like a knitter and not just follow a pattern completely.ez-sweater-set

Next i knit up a cowl from fleece I had washed and spun as part of my fiber study. It’s bond fleece and is so light and fluffy, handspun-cowlI’ll have to invest in more and think of future projects but will probably stick to one color.

p1100009Yesterday, I was on my own so tried my hand at kool aid dyeing of some p1110001corriedale cream roving  and loved it.  it was easy, not too messy and non-toxic.  My local grocery store didn’t have any blue kool aid so I may have to move on to food coloring.  I followed very helpful instructions from purecrafty’s blog.  So far I have spun up a single and will figure out how I want to mix and ply the colors.These are not my usual earth tones so it may be challenging figuring out the right project.

Holiday Knitting

The holidays are fast approaching.  Kids are returning from school and places afar.  I know I’ve had all year but I’m knitting like crazy this month.  I am happy to be puttering at home and Ravelry allows me to stay connected with others even if I don’t leave the house.

It’s snowing, the fireplace is lit and I have hanks of yarn hung around the house with care.