23 September 2008

w00t! We have finished objects

First up, a whole mess of hats (and one pair of mittens) knit for charity. There are a bunch, but I have been going to the Sow's Ear Charity Knit for at least three months now, so spread these out over at least that long!


There is one more hat that fits between the mittens and the green hat. It has a tassle that matches the first two hats and the rest is green. I handed it over to the Sow's Ear without taking a picture. Hat number eight is on the needles. These are pretty quick and pleasantly mindless!

Next up spinning, but not mine! Well, okay, partly mine as I had a hand pretty heavily involved at most times! Here's Bugs:


A very high energy single yarn, which is remarkably apropos! And here is Beans:


Not much, as she lost interest more quickly, but I'm sure we'll pick it back up again sometime.

Next up, mine again. Because I simple do not spend enough time at the Sow's Ear, I have added the monthly Dish-cloth-along. September was a fallish squirrel (in the ever so fallish colorway Swimming Pool):


Next up, more of the kids' handiwork. I have been trying to get Bug started with finger knitting as I have heard that it can be fabulous for helping spunky/spirited/crazy kid settle themselves down. We have had limited success with the finger knitting (VERY limited compared to the frustration level!), so when I saw one of these demonstrated by one of the other kids at our homeschool group, I picked one up for Bug to try. And it was a resounding success. He loves it and has declared himself ready to go to Knit Night. Here is his first FO, a snake:


Bean was devastated at Hobby Lobby since Bug was getting something and she wasn't, so when we got home, I dug through my old cross-stitch supplies and got her started with embroidery (or, as she calls it, sewing). She picked out the colors and did all the sewing herself:


She has picked out a second set of colors and is currently working on her second piece.

Finally, one more from me. I finished up the last of the apples we picked last week and now we have:

There are two pints of apple butter and six pints of applesauce. That's in addition to the batch of applesauce we made last week (and ate the same day), the additional pint or so of applesauce I put in the fridge for dinner tonight, the half pint of apple butter that went straight into the fridge from this batch and about five half pints in the freezer from the first batch of apple butter. I'm going to be peeling and coring apples in my sleep!

Hopefully, I will have a few more FOs before long...I have several thing so close, but just need to be tipped over the edge (which I am just FAMOUS for, by the way). Laminaria just needs blocking, the purse I am making with the leftovers from the kids' slippers is so close...I just need to felt the handle and sew it on. When I felt the handle, I can FINALLY finish Bean's princess hat. I just need to find the purse handle. Umm, yeah. One of the hazards of moving.

22 September 2008


After the chaos of getting settled, I find myself once again reminded how much better we (including me) do with some kind of routine or rhythm. I think we have our weekly schedule pretty much set finally. Monday is our homeschool playgroup with 6 and under unschoolers; Tuesday is our "outing day" (more on that in a sec); Wednesday is library day and starting this week, we will be joining a story time group; Thursday is our day to get together with our local "grandma"; and Friday is Farmers' Market day. I really like that most of our things are half day or less so we can fit groceries and other chores in flexibly.

Two weeks ago, our Tuesday looked like this:

so we headed to Lake Kegonsa State Park and spent most of the day there. We had a picnic, identified a few trees and wildflowers and played on the playground. Another mom and her two girls (almost three and just turned one) stopped and played for a bit and Bean declared the older girl to be her "best friend." After they left, Bean pretended to talk on the phone to her, making plans for fun things to do and telling her that she loved her very much. That evening, when telling Dad about our day, she announced in her ever-so-earnest (as only a three-year-old can be) voice: "____ is such a great human." I am desparately hoping for a little girl about Bean's age at story time...she wants a girl friend so much right now!

Beeb had fun doing Beeb things:

and trying outa new hairstyle courtesy of the slide. That's some serious static electricity!

This past week on Tuesday, we joined other homeschoolers for a tour of the Sassy Cow Creamery. Very interesting for everyone, but some of the highlights were riding on pedal tractors, trying out their ice cream, and watching the bottling machine. The bottling machines had all of our boisterous group watching with rapt attention! I didn't have my camera, but there are a few pics at Denise's blog (she's the one who organized the trip). I have started carrying a notebook for Bug and Bean and crayons or markers when we go on an outing, so they can "journal" about the outing. I posted some of their pictures here (I also finally got around to posting their Sheep and Wool pictures, too).

We went apple picking with our local "grandma" on Thursday and then came home and made applesauce for lunch. The big kids cored and peeled and Bug and Bean chopped up the apples with butter knives, so it was a group effort. Another very fun day and I am currently on my second batch of apple butter! I would like to get some apple sauce put up too, so we may end up going apple picking again!

So a lot going on, not a whole lot of blogging, but now that we are getting settled, it should be easier to get back on track posting regularly!

07 September 2008

Busy Weekend!

Okay, a longish post with many pictures coming here...go grab a cup of coffee and settle in (Beth, you'd better go brew a whole pot with dial-up!)...

Birthday Celebrated!

Friday evening we were joined by the kids' local adopted grandma for dinner and birthday cake. I made eggplant parmasan, and Beeb declared it a hit!

The birthday cake was also a hit. The look on his face when everyone started singing "Happy Birthday" was priceless (but not captured by camera). "Hey, dudes! They're all singing! They're all lookin' at me while they're singing! Crazy!"

The obligatory cake-all-over-the-face shot, though he wasn't as thorough with the cake as he was with the tomato sauce!

And one last gratuitous baby picture. Kitty Daddy found this footlocker at a thrift store and got it cleaned up for stowing some toys. This is where we store Beeb when we aren't using him.

Actually, it is his favorite place in the world to be right now. He carefully empties one side of toys, climbs in, and plays with the remaining toys and/or watches the world go by.

Sheep! Wool! Sheep AND Wool!

We (Bug, Bean, Beeb, and I) spent a good chunk of Saturday exploring the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. Daddy stayed home to get a little work done and straighten up his office after a fairly crazy week just after been away for a week. We saw a little of everything. In one building was a shearing demonstration (no pictures as Beeb was in the sling and we were all in the bleachers and I couldn't reach the stroller to grab my camera). Talk about crazy hard work! The shearer was very personable and would talk about shearing and answer questions between sheep. He had the standard electric stand clippers as well as a hand cranked clipper stand and had volunteers crank while he sheared a couple of sheep! The cranking looked like hard work, but not nearly as hard as wrestling sheep with legs and one arm while shearing with the other hand. The same building there were some baby sheepies. These guys were about three days old:

And this little sweety-pie was one day old:

I invested a fair amount of effort figuring out what would have to be transferred from my backpack to the stroller basket to stow him away. In the end, I left him behind as Kitty Daddy's last words as we drove away was "Don't bring home any live sheep." While I figured this one was too tiny to count, I didn't think Kitty Daddy would see it the same way. *le sigh* We also looked at bunches of different breeds of sheep. Rams with two horns, four horns, no horns, curved horns, curled horns!

We watched the Herding 101 dog school and the kids loved it!

We watched some of the Crook and Whistle trials, but decided that watching dog school was more fun since the enclosed area was smaller so you had a closer view.

We wandered through just about everything and saw a mish-mash of fleeces, sheep, equipment, information, education.

We also checked out the vendors at the General Store. Ummm, let's just say there *may* have been a small accident involving an ATM card and some vendor merchandise. But, really, it wasn't my fault...it was the wool fumes. Yeah, the wool fumes, that was it. This is mine:

Twelve ounces of natural colored wool on clearance, a bag of hand-dyed silk hankies, a bundle of soy silk/merino roving that, I swear, jumped out of the basket and wrapped itself around me, and a 1.1 oz Shacht Hi-Lo spindle. It really could have been a lot worse. Bug fell head over heels in love with this. He got to practice treadling on a Ladybug at two different vendor stands and really thought we needed one, stat. Instead of that, he got an Ashford student drop spindle (just like my first one) and a small ball of roving and had his first spinning lesson last night. It is very much a cooperative effort at this point, but he is just delighted to be spinning. He can do the spindle spinning or help with the drafting, but even with park and draft, he can't quite coordinate doing all the parts himself. It will come. Bean wanted to spin too, so I finished plying the fiber that was on my Ashford and helped her break into her little ball of roving. All she can managed so far is giving the spindle a spin and can get the spin direction right slightly more than half the time. So in less than a day we went from a one spinner household to a three spinner household. I think I need to lock up my roving stash.

A post with spinning stuff (mine and theirs) will be coming soon!

Sith and Jedi and Clones, Oh My!

Today, I have a quiet afternoon with just the Beebster (who, incidentally, is napping!!). Kitty Daddy, Bug, and Bean have gone downtown to see the Clone Wars at the movie theater. If you don't know that there is a distinct tendency towards Star Wars obsession in the family, you haven't been around very long! While moving we ate lunches at McDonald's so many times that I turn green at the idea, because they had Happy Meal toys in conjunction with the release of the Clone Wars. Beeb is easy-going enough that we probably could have all gone, but I decided that I would rather just wait until the video comes out, rather than have to worry whether Beeb was being cute or charming or seriously annoying to other movie-goers. After a big day yesterday, a quiet afternoon is just the ticket. Catch up on some blogging and blog-reading, do a little straightening and catch up with the laundry. Okay, so no so much quiet, but still.

04 September 2008

A box for her Jewels

When Kitty Daddy brought home the bat house kit for Bug, he also brought a kit to make a small treasure chest for Bean. Mama did the gluing and nailing, but Bean tackled the painting all by herself. She ended up painting each side a different color, so we needed pictures to show off everything, including Little Miss Ham's many moods:

I suspect that she is destined for The Theatre (said in a haughty British accent). She is definitely our little performer. She is always singing and yesterday, she danced the entire way to the grocery store and back.

We have decided that the box is to be a jewelry box and we are planning to take her dollar from Grandma to the dollar store after Farmers' Market tomorrow to see if we can buy some new jewelry. Once things are more put away, I have some fabric somewhere that would make a perfect jewelry box lining for it. You know, to protect her precious plastic jewelry. ;o)

Since the end of the month sneaked in amongst the moving chaos, I will slip in the August Spin My Spindle update:

Spin My Spindle
August 2008
Activity: Spinning
Fiber: Targhee
Spindle: Schacht
Amount: 18 grams

A pretty quiet month by recent standards, but it still represents a fair amount of spinning. The targhee singles are quite thin, so even a gram is a bit of spinning. I did a gram here and there over the first few days of moving, but before long, my arms were so tired from hauling that I put my spindle down.

The upside of the break was that I ended up doing a lot of reading about spinning instead. I am about halfway through Color in Spinning by Deb Menz (a local, no less!) and having wonderful fantasies about setting up a dye studio [Aside: Don't get excited...it is SO FAR down on my to do list, it may never see light of day!] and spent much of the driving time delivering loads between Fitchburg and Stoughton looking at colors in the landscape and thinking how I could translate that into handspun yarn. I also read through Color Works, also by Deb Menz and have put it on my wish list of books to own. It is shorter and more general than the spinning book, but a nice overview of colors in crafts and has some handy tools for describing color in the back. I have also been reading the Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning. I had this one out from the library shortly after buying my first spindle and couldn't make a dent in it. Now I am nearly halfway through and enjoying it immensely. Being a drop spindler, I feel I should confess that I have been skimming through the parts that are wheel-specific and more technical. If I ever decide to tackle a spinning wheel, I will definitely re-read this book!

03 September 2008

PG-13 Cheezbabies!

Same thing he was wearing a year ago, I guess! I can't believe how fast the last year has gone. We're planning on playing it low key tonight and having friends over for dinner and birthday cake this weekend!