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I bet your are wondering…

This is what it is.  I participated in a Funalong in March hosted by the  Fun Onion Group on Ravelry. I purchased an Ahi Tuna Roll from Miki of Funhouse Fibers. Yum.

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There were four delicious rolls with a total of about 1 ounce of fiber.

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I spun these relatively thin.

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And plied with a thicker, softer merino wool (for an extra serving of white rice).

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I  had fun and I think a fun time was had by all!  You can check out all the finished yarns on this thread in Ravelry.

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Last week, a record warm day, this week snow and a 10+ day run of below normal temperatures.  Everyone says, “This is New England, what do you expect?”  I think, “Yes, but I can hope.”

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I love the Phat Fiber theme this month – Gems and Minerals.  February, of course, being my birth month and just the love of all things purple and amethyst, how could I not make these batts?

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Also going out in the February boxes are my January samples which didn’t quite make it time last month due to Priority Mail not quite living up to my expectations.  These are Peace and Prosperity and I have 3 flavors currently listed over at Spincerely yours.

peace and prosperity collage

There are lots of very lovely offerings by all the Phat Fiber artists this month, and isn’t this perfect weather for spinning and knitting?  Hope you have fun checking them all out!

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Now a word from our sponsor…

Hi!  Just in case you were wondering if I’ve been adding any new rovings in my shop lately, the answer is a definate YES!  I listed 8 new Superwash Merino/Tencel Blend rovings  just this morning.  If you have a moment, I’d love for you to take a quick trip over to My Shop for a visit. I hope you like what you see!  For now, here is a quick sample:

new additions jan 2011

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Usually, I can’t come up with enough things for a Ten on Tuesday blog post.  For example, 10 all-time favorite movies?  No clue! BUT.  When I saw Jess post about  her 10 favorite childhood games?  I knew I could do it too. Easy Parcheesi!

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Ten Favorite Games from your Childhood
(In no particular order)

This was so easy,  games were (apparently) a very big part of my childhood.  I was also a reader too, but I think I played games quite a bit though never as much as my sister would have liked (as I’m sure she will verify when she comments on this post!).

1.) Checkers – Played with my sister and with my dad. Always a good game on a sick day.

2.) Solitaire – Learned from my dad.  He was very particular in method.  My girls were playing one day and Dave actually apologized to them (for me) when I stopped to see what they were doing.  Yeah, it is the apple and the tree thing.

3.) Cribbage – Played with my dad and sister.  This was my dad’s favorite game and one that he would play with family friends.  We would go on vacation to a cabin in Vermont and the adults would play this games into the wee hours of the night and my sister and I would stand in our room on the top bunk and peek at them over the half walls (who could sleep with all that noise!) I would really like to relearn how to play Cribbage.  (The phrase that always goes through my head is 15-2, 15-4, and a pair is 6.) (He also used to play Pinochle with my grandfather when we were really young,  but I don’t remember much except for the table in my Nana’s kitchen and the cigarette smoke.  There was also Pepsi in bottles, Deviled Ham, and Shake-n-bake.)

4.) Screw your Neighbor – This is a card came that I think we learned from my brother, but we would also play it with the neighbor girl who lived down the street.

5.) Spit – This is the fast paced double solitaire game. I love this one!

6.) Parcheesi – My sister and  I played this one at our Nana’s house.  She had coloring books and Parcheesi for us to play when we were left there.  It is a childhood memory for me though I’m not sure it is one of my favorite games.  (zzzzzz) It does rank higher than Monopoly though. (double zzzzzz)

7.) The Alphabet Game – This is the car game which I played with my sister and dad.  When we were little we spent a lot of time driving around with my dad when he went to pick up apples or deliver cider for the mill.  We spent a lot of time look for those “Q’s.”  I used to think that antiques was pronounced an-ti-cues…  Did I say that I was little?

8.) Other card games like rummy, crazy eights, Uno, war – Played mostly with my sister. My mom can be a pretty competitive Uno player though!

9.) Scrabble – This was my mom’s game.  She is wicked scary good and can do amazing things with those triple letter scores!

10.) Make Believe – My sister and I would play make believe games like circus or school for hours on end with games that would continue over days.  We would also “play Legos” like this too. We would make “people” and houses and set up scenarios and situations to act out with the “people” (They didn’t actually have Lego people back then they were 2-ers on top of 4-ers and how many 4-ers would indicate their age ( a 1 high would be a young child, a 2 high a teen, and a 3 high an adult).  We would also make tee-pees, covered wagons, and other types of “homes” out in the back yard and woods.

11.) Pool – When we were really little, we had a “pool room” in our house.  This room later became my sister’s bedroom, but prior to that it housed a pool table.  Relatives would come over to play with my dad and my sister and I would play pool sometimes.  Sometimes we would use it has a house for make believe and other times it was the holder of piles of laundry.

12.) Chinese Checkers -  This was a favorite game of ours when we were home for sick days or snow days.  We also used the Chinese Checker board for make believe games too. (And yes, the photo above is our actual Chinese Checker board. Can this be called vintage?)

Okay,  I could probably go on, but I seem to have hit 12 already.  I’m sure I’ll think of more in the middle of the night (and maybe even think of the one that I really can’t remember the name of or even enough about it to Google search it). So what were your favorite games?  Any of these?

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Authentic

Not false or copied; genuine; real

Made or done in the traditional or original way

Being what it is represented or claimed to be

FOR TODAY

from The Simple Woman’s Daybook via Bliss and Folly as inspiration in conjunction with One Little Word


Outside my window…
a snow bank so high I cannot see my driveway.  It is bitterly cold, but I must go out soon trudge through the 2 feet of snow to pull wood out of the pile to stack next to my backdoor.

I am thinking… different things I can do this year to discover the Authentic Me.  My New Year’s Resolution is to “be more me” so I’ve taken “Authentic” as my One Little Word for 2011. There are so many things I have to try to figure out this year.  I’m not sure what the starting point will be, but I hope writing about it will help.

I am thankful for… a little bit of quiet after 2 snow days, but oddly I find myself  looking forward to the girls coming home from school today.

From the kitchen… the noises of the dying elephant in my dishwasher.  I really don’t think it is normal for my dishwasher to sound like this, but I can’t seem to convince my husband that we need to have something done about it.

I am wearing… my jammies still

I am creating… the beginnings of finding my Authentic Me

I am going… knitting with my Mad Knitters on Sunday.  It is time to get out and see my friends. Really.

I am reading… The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi Durrow.  I’ve just started reading this, but this is about a girl looking for herself and her place in this world.

I am hoping...  that my two daughters with mid-terms will be focused in their studying so that we can still do some fun things even though there are many tests coming up in the next couple of weeks.

I am hearing… the dishwasher, the furnace, Snickerdoodle purring…

Around the house… Quiet–today  is my first day this week with everyone at school or work. J will be home early today, around 1 I think, as she has a half-day.

One of my favorite things… I don’t know.  I can’t think of something.  I’m a little tired of things.  I would really like to have fewer things. Nothing is really coming to mind at this moment.

A quote to share…

“To thine own self be true, and it must follow,
as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
William Shakespeare in Hamlet

Here is some knitting that I am sharing…

I have for you (are you ready???) – My completed Sock Blankie!!!!  Ta Da!!!

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According to my Ravelry Project Notebook, I started Sock Blankie on April 1, 2008.  He was always intended to be a long term project, so the fact that I’ve been working on him for over 2.5 years isn’t really a big deal.  For anyone new to Sock Blankie you can find the pattern information here.  Sock Blankie isn’t really made out of socks, but rather spare sock yarn.  Once you start making a sock blankie, sock yarn will come to you*. Trust me.  My Sock  Blankie has 113 squares.  Some are leftovers from my knitting. Others are leftovers from my friends’ knitting and my sister’s knitting and even from my sister’s friend’s knitting.  I also have some from a yarn ball exchange from the BlankieMania Group on Ravelry.  Sock blankie is from all over the freaking place, isn’t he!  Sock blankie is also surprisingly stretchy, bouncy, and a lot of fun.  Maybe Sockie Blankie is me – a lot of pieces and colors put together in a way that you wouldn’t think would work but somehow form a cohesive entity.

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* Want some?  I haz some! LMK!!!

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Socks, Baby Hats, Thorpes, and now Sock Blankie…

I’m knitting in batches.  A lot of something then moving on.

It started in the fall when I had to keep knitting to keep my sanity — 3 pairs of socks.  Then I moved on to baby hats — made what? Like 6 or 7?  Next up was mostly Thorpes with a Pixie hat thrown in.  I offered to knit them for all K’s friends for gifts to help her out.  Thorpes is the style of hat that is very popular this year, so I hope they are wearing them. But, if not, that is okay too.  Recently I was asked how I feel about giving away my knitting and if I worry about what happens to it when it leaves me.  I’ve been thinking on this quite a bit to figure out my answer.  If course, it is always nice when a hand knit items is appreciated and worn. That being said, I think I’m more of a process knitter than a product knitter so I don’t really obsess over it.  As long as I have the photos and the history, I’m good.  I don’t even wear all the knitting I keep for myself, so I don’t think I can get all that upset over it.

But you are waiting for the photos now, so I’ll be moving along.

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J was very happy to model for me.  The only hat for her though is the light green beret that I made last year and finally got around to weaving in the ends.  Altogether I think I have made 8 Thorpes.  One for me, one for K, one for B, and 5 for K’s friends.  I have requests for 2 more that I need to start on soon before I’m completely out of the grove.  I used different yarns for the Thorpes mostly drawing on my stash.  I think they look best in handspun though.  I even used some of my Tour de Fleece yarns.

For example, Shaded Sapas

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became this hat for K:

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Since the holidays, I have been knitting on Sock Blankie.  He is almost done!  Just about 5 squares left and an edging.  What is up after that?  I have Stripey Cardigan to finish and yarn for Hemlock Ring (woot!).  I think my knitting  group is going to do Hemlock Ring as a KAL.  That will be fun and I’m really looking forward to it!  Oh, and I almost forgot. I have 6 skeins of Mountain Mohair to make into something for my sister.  I think probably a vest as it is not enough for a sweater, but any thoughts,  let me know, okay?

So, this is a pretty good start back into blogging right?  As always I hope not to go too long before the next post in which I hope to talk about Sock Blankie in more detail and my One Little Word for 2011.  Until then, take care and thanks for reading!

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Knitting is a lifesaver.  Since the end of September, I have made 3 pairs of socks and 5 baby hats.  Just easy,  thoughtless knitting that keeps my hands busy doing projects that I can complete.

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I was just knitting socks of various sizes for really no apparent reason and with no clue what would become of them.  Then one day on Facebook, I saw some local friends posting about the Library Holiday Craft sale.  I donate crafts to it every year. When the girls were little we would make ornaments or I would Mod Podge something.  Last year, I donated hand-dyed yarn and scarves I think.  Perfect, I thought.  I have  socks!!!  So I just need to print up some labels as to sizes and care instructions and off they go.

At the library where I work (which is in the next town over), we are knitting baby hats to donate to a hospital as our Wednesday Night Knitters charity project.  They are not preemie hats or anything, just regular baby-baby hats.  According to Knitting Rules, baby heads have about a circumference of about 13 to 14 inches, but I think they can be as big as 18 inches so this is a pretty easy task. I have knit 5 in a variety of sizes.

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It is fun and easy – I’m using left over sock yarn and knitting them on 2 circs like I knit socks.  And the same as when I knit socks – as soon as one is done,  I immediately cast on for the next hat.

It has been a rough fall here at my house. Thank goodness I have knitting.

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This blog post is dedicated to MPS (May 4, 1924 – September 23, 2011).  I love you, Daddy!

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This photo was in the paper on October 29, 2000, he was 75.  In January of 2000, we had moved into this house next door to my parents.  Everyday he would walk down the path to visit me and the girls (they were little!) with his dog Sioux.  He would ride his tractor around, work in his garden, drive around to visit friends,  AND he still went to work at the cider mill.  He always did as much as he possibly could.  He loved the outdoors and he was a hard worker.  The last few years had been so difficult for him as his health declined and also his ability to do the things he loved.  Just spending time with him, was all we could give him.  We wanted to ease his pain, but there was nothing we could do.  His day, when his pain ended, was September 23, 2010.  His life ended as he wanted it, surrounded by his family and we let him go, encouraged him to go — off to a place free of pain where he could once again be himself.

He leaves behind millions of memories that we will never forget.  I will never look at a clover patch without thinking of him.  He had this uncanny knack of immediately spotting four leaf clovers (or even 5, 6, 7, or 8 leaf clovers!).  Driving down the road, they are everywhere – the little red pick-up trucks he loved  so much. When I was in high school, he drove me to the farm with him  every morning where I picked up the bus for school.  Early in my high school career, his truck was so old that on rainy mornings water from the road would spash up and in through the holes on the floor leaving me with wet nylons and feet.  I don’t know why, but this always made me laugh.  (You would think, it would make one cross!) I would also get off the bus at the farm and would work at the cider mill until it was time to  go home at 6.  Being a farm, there were usually kittens around.  I’ve been thinking of this memory for last couple of weeks and finally pulled and scanned the photo:

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I have  a whole series of photos that goes with this that shows me trying to take photos of the kittens and me with the kittens, but I love this one of my dad holding the kittens so I can take their photo all together.  I don’t think there are words for a dad who would do something silly like that on the whim of his 14 year old daughter.

My sister and I came to him rather late in his life — he was 44 when I was born and 46 when my sister was born.  We adored him. We followed him everywhere.  When we were little, we would go to work with him or the store, or where ever and follow him around.   He would fool around with us by stopping suddenly and whoever was directly behind him would crash into him and the other of us would crash into the first.  I can still remember the giggles!  And he could yell too.  He hated when we bickered.  Which I never understood at the time, but now having children myself, oh, it drives me nuts and makes me yell too!  We loved our daddy though no matter what.  And we still do and always will.

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This is the photo that sits on my desk — my college graduation.  Nothing made me happier than making my dad proud of me.  I can look at this photo and know that he was. He was proud of both his girls.  My sister says that having one of his children build a home next to his and raise her children here was his lifelong dream.  I am so proud and honored to have been here for him.  I love that my girls were able to know him and love him.  Hugs and high-fives were given out like candy.  We will miss you, Papa.

There is no way I can write everything in this blog post.  I hope to remember him for always and through whatever I do — conversations with family and friends, facebook postings, future blogs posts — share my memories and feelings that I have for my dad.

Leading up to the twenty-third, my dad was in the hospital and rehab facility for 12 days. He was in 7 rooms during that time (3, 428, 115, 12, 528, 409, 401) and I started knitting a pair of socks.  I haven’t completely settled on the name for these socks but I think of them as Comfort Socks.  One of these socks I was knitting in the final room on the twenty-third, and to remember which it was, I have duplicate stitched a letter M into the cuff for Martin.

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I purchased the yarn from Tina of Bittersweet Woolery this summer at WOOL (also a weekend of bittersweet memories, but still a special and magical time). The pattern is the basic Yankee Sock Knitter pattern, but in the ribbing, I knit every other row.  These socks are for me.  I will wear them and think of you, Dad.  For always.

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11/5/2010 – edited to remove full names

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Can you believe it? A 1o day forecast full of sun in Connecticut!  This week, I’m dyeing for the September Phat Fiber box which has the perfect theme -  Farmer’s Market.  Last weekend, I took my camera to one of our local markets to gather some inspiration…

farmers market

“Zinnia”  is already out “baking.”   I want to do at least one more theme color – I can’t decide – I like the Heirloom Tomato and oh – those apples!   I think I’m really ready for fall.  One more week of summer weather with the girls back at school will be perfect, then give me the clear skies, cool breezes, and glorious days of autumn!

Just one more quick “advertising interruption.”  I just want to talk about the “August Superbox Giveaway- BUY PHAT incentive” for a moment.  This is a prize you can enter to win if you purchase anything in the month of August from either my shop or another Phat Fiber contributor’s shop during the month of August.  All you have to do is post what you purchased and from whom in the above linked forum threat to be eligible to win.  I think the Superbox is like a regular box, only with a set of larger than average samples in it.  At the top of the first post int he thread is a link to the video.

I’m off to the “dye pots.”  Hope you have a great weekend!

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